John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Biography
Birthday: March 13, 1899 (Pisces)
Born In: Middletown, Connecticut, United States
John Hasbrouck Van Vleck was an American physicist and mathematician who won a share of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the understanding of the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids. It was during the 1930s that he developed the first fully articulated quantum mechanical theory of magnetism. Along with his significant contributions to the study of magnetism, he also made valuable inputs to studies of the spectra of free molecules, of paramagnetic relaxation, and other topics. The son of mathematician Edward Burr Van Vleck, and grandson of astronomer John Monroe Van Vleck, he grew up in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere, and was encouraged from a young age to pursue scientific enquires. As a young man he attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Harvard University from where he completed his doctorate. He ventured into an academic career and taught at various universities before returning to Harvard where he eventually became the chairman of the physics department. His important research in the quantum mechanical theory of magnetism and the crystal field theory led him to be regarded as the Father of Modern Magnetism.