Fritz London papers, 1845-2019, bulk 1926-1954

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Restrictions:
Nitrate negatives are closed to use.
More about accessing and using these materials...

Summary

Creator:
London, Fritz, 1900-1954
Abstract:
Fritz London, physicist and theoretical chemist, formulated the London equations of superconductivity with his brother, Heinz London. After fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933, London held appointments at Oxford and Paris, then at Duke University from 1939 to 1954. He specialized in low temperature physics and quantum chemistry, and authored Superfluids (1950) and numerous articles. The Fritz London Papers include correspondence, notes, manuscripts, reprints, and other materials, with bulk dates 1926-1954. The more than 300 correspondents include Walter Heitler, F.A. Lindemann, Max von Laue, Wolfgang Pauli, Michael Polyani, Erwin Schrödinger, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and other noted scientists. Other materials include galleys and drafts of Superfluids, lab notebooks, course materials, notes, bound reprints. Materials acquired after London's death include interviews with Edith London; memorials; copies of correspondence held in other repositories; selected publications and interview transcripts; and indexes to London's scientific correspondence. English and German.
Extent:
22.5 Linear Feet
Language:
English and German.
Collection ID:
UA.29.02.0071
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals

Background

Scope and content:

The Fritz London Papers include correspondence, notes, manuscripts, reprints, and other materials, with bulk dates 1926-1954. The more than 300 correspondents include Walter Heitler, F.A. Lindemann, Max von Laue, Wolfgang Pauli, Michael Polyani, Erwin Schrödinger, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and other noted scientists. Major subjects include chemistry and theoretical physics, the Nazi regime and its effects on German scientists and academics, and London's emigration from Germany. Other materials include galleys and drafts of Superfluids, 30 lab notebooks, course materials, notes, bound reprints, and a manuscript on the significance of quantum theory for chemistry. Materials acquired after London's death include interviews with Mrs. London; memorials; copies of correspondence held in other repositories; indexes to London's scientific correspondence prepared by Kostas Gavroglou; bounmd volumes of notes written out by London from lectures given by Prof. Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951) at the University of Munich and Prof. Weierstrass (1879).

Biographical / historical:

Fritz Wolfgang London was born in Breslau, Germany (Wrocjaw, Poland) in 1900, brother of Heinz London and son of a professor of mathematics in Bonn. He studied classics at the universities of Frankfurt and Munich and did research in philosophy leading to a doctorate at Bonn. Later he was attracted to theoretical physics and worked with Arnold Sommerfeld at Munich and Erwin Schrodinger at Zurich University in 1927, and published on the quantum theory of the chemical bond with Walter Heitler. In 1930 he calculated the non-polar component of forces between molecules, now called van der Waals or London forces. He and his brother fled from Germany in 1933 to Oxford where they joined Sir Francis Simon's group at the Clarendon Laboratory. Together they published major papers on conductivity giving the London equations (1935). Fritz moved to Duke University in the USA (1939-54) and continued to work on superconductivity and superfluidity.

[Biography from Chambers Biographical Dictionary, 1997]

Acquisition information:
The Fritz London Papers were received by the University Archives as a gift in 1948-2021.
Processing information:

This collection is unprocessed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Accession UA2010-0003 is included in this finding aid.

Encoded by Jill Katte, March 2005

Updated by Meghan Lyon, March 2010

Accession UA2014-0075 added by Tracy M. Jackson, September 2016.

Accessions UA2021-0040, UA2021-0046 added by Leah Tams, February 2022.

Materials added to Accession UA2021-0040 by April Blevins, July 2023.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Subjects

Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Subjects:
Electric conductivity
Fluids
Helium
Names:
Duke University. Department of Physics
Duke University -- Faculty
London, Fritz, 1900-1954

Contents

Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Restrictions:

Nitrate negatives are closed to use.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Fritz London Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.