Abelson, Philip Hauge

▪ 2005

      American scientist, editor, and administrator (b. April 27, 1913, Tacoma, Wash.—d. Aug. 1, 2004, Bethesda, Md.), rose to prominence for his research on uranium and for his co-discovery (with American physicist Edwin McMillan) of neptunium. In the 1940s Abelson devised a process for isolating uranium isotopes that aided in the development of the atomic bomb. He also helped establish the feasibility of building nuclear submarines. Abelson was formally trained in physics and chemistry, but in his career of more than 60 years, he also blazed trails in biology, geology, engineering, and biochemistry. He was among the first scientists to recognize the potential of the bacterium Escherichia coli for use in genetic engineering, and his discovery that amino acids in fossils could survive millions of years influenced studies in biochemistry and paleontology. When elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1959, Abelson was eligible for work he did in any of seven scientific disciplines; he chose to be inducted as a geologist. In 1962 he was named editor of Science, the principal publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He held the position more than 20 years and subsequently served as contributing editor until the late 1990s. As editor, Abelson wrote more than 500 editorials on subjects ranging from medicine to energy, and he often expressed his strong opinions and engaged other scientists in heated debate. Abelson served as acting executive director (1974, 1975, 1984) of the AAAS and as president (1971–78) of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

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▪ American scientist
born April 27, 1913, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
died August 1, 2004, Bethesda, Maryland

      American physical chemist who proposed the gas diffusion process for separating uranium-235 from uranium-238 and in collaboration with the U.S. physicist Edwin Mattison McMillan (McMillan, Edwin Mattison) discovered the element neptunium.

      After receiving a Ph.D. (1939) in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley, Abelson worked as an assistant physicist (1939–41) in the department of terrestrial magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. There he began investigating a material that emitted beta rays (electrons) and that was produced by irradiating uranium with neutrons. After joining forces with McMillan, he proved the material to be a new element, later named neptunium.

      During World War II Abelson worked with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. His uranium-separation process proved essential to the development of the atomic bomb. At the end of the war his report on the feasibility of building a nuclear-powered submarine gave birth to the U.S. program in that field.

      In 1946 Abelson returned to the Carnegie Institution and pioneered in utilizing radioactive isotopes. As director of the Geophysics Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution from 1953 to 1971, he found amino acids in fossils, and he discovered fatty acids in rocks more than 1 billion years old. He was president of the Carnegie Institution from 1971 to 1978 and trustee from 1978. From 1962 through 1984 he was the editor of Science, the weekly publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1987 Abelson was awarded the National Medal of Science.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abelson , Philip Hauge — (1913–) American physical chemist Abelson, who was born in Tacoma, was educated at Washington State College and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he obtained his PhD in 1939. Apart from the war years at the Naval Research… …   Scientists

  • Philip Hauge Abelson — Philip Hauge Abelson. Philip Hauge Abelson (* 27. April 1913 in Tacoma, Washington; † 1. August 2004 in Bethesda, Maryland) war ein US amerikanischer Physiker und Chemiker und spielte eine bedeutende Rolle bei …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip Hauge Abelson — Philip Abelson Pour les articles homonymes, voir Abelson. Philip Hauge Abelson (27 avril 1913 1er août 2004) était un physicien, éditeur de littérature scientifique, et auteur de science. Philip Abelson est né en 1913 à Tacoma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abelson — Philip Hauge Abelson. Philip Hauge Abelson (* 27. April 1913 in Tacoma, Washington, USA; † 1. August 2004 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Physiker un …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip H. Abelson — Philip Abelson Pour les articles homonymes, voir Abelson. Philip Hauge Abelson (27 avril 1913 1er août 2004) était un physicien, éditeur de littérature scientifique, et auteur de science. Philip Abelson est né en 1913 à Tacoma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Philip Abelson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Abelson. Philip Hauge Abelson (27 avril 1913 1er août 2004) était un physicien, éditeur de littérature scientifique, et auteur de science. Philip Abelson est né en 1913 à Tacoma (État de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abelson —   [ eɪbəlsn], Philip Hauge, amerikanischer Physiker und Chemiker, * Tacoma (Washington) 27. 4. 1913; Professor in Washington, entwickelte das Thermodiffusionsverfahren zur Isotopentrennung von Uran und entdeckte mit E. M. McMillan das Neptunium.… …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • Abelson — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Philip Hauge Abelson (27 avril 1913 1er août, 2004) était un physicien, éditeur de littérature scientifique, et auteur de science. Robert P. Abelson (né… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Абельсон, Филипп Хауге — Филипп Хауге Абельсон Philip Hauge Abelson …   Википедия

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