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Richard Garwin

Richard Garwin

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Richard Lawrence Garwin (born April 19, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

), is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

. He received his bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 from the Case Institute of Technology
Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is a private research university located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA...

 in 1947 and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 in 1949, where he worked in the lab of Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...


Garwin is IBM Fellow
IBM Fellow
An IBM Fellow is an appointed position at IBM made by IBM’s CEO. Typically only 4 to 9 IBM Fellows are appointed each year, at the annual Corporate Technical Recognition Event in May or June. It is the highest honor a scientist, engineer, or programmer at IBM can achieve.The IBM Fellows program...

Emeritus is a post-positive adjective that is used to designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title. The female equivalent emerita is also sometimes used.-History:...

 at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center
Thomas J. Watson Research Center
The Thomas J. Watson Research Center is the headquarters for the IBM Research Division.The center is on three sites, with the main laboratory in Yorktown Heights, New York, 38 miles north of New York City, a building in Hawthorne, New York, and offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts.- Overview :The...

 in Yorktown Heights, New York. For many years he was an adjunct professor of physics at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 and, from 1952, a scientist at the IBM Watson Laboratory at Columbia University, retiring from IBM in 1993. He has also been an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...


Garwin received the National Medal of Science
National Medal of Science
The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

, the nation's highest honor for the fields of science and engineering, award year 2002.

Among other things, Garwin was the author of the actual design used in the first hydrogen bomb
Teller-Ulam design
The Teller–Ulam design is the nuclear weapon design concept used in most of the world's nuclear weapons. It is colloquially referred to as "the secret of the hydrogen bomb" because it employs hydrogen fusion, though in most applications the bulk of its destructive energy comes from uranium fission,...

 (code-named Mike
Ivy Mike
Ivy Mike was the codename given to the first United States test of a thermonuclear weapon, in which a major part of the explosive yield came from nuclear fusion. It was detonated on November 1, 1952 by the United States at on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, as part of Operation Ivy...

) in 1952. He was assigned the job by Edward Teller
Edward Teller
Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy , and surface physics...

, with the instructions that he was to make it as conservative a design as possible in order to prove the concept was feasible (as such, the Mike device was not intended to be a usable weapon design, with tons of cryogenic equipment required for its use).

While at IBM, he was the "catalyst" for the discovery and publication of the Cooley–Tukey FFT algorithm, and did research on inkjet printing.

Garwin is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nontechnical online magazine that covers global security and public policy issues, especially related to the dangers posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction...

. He also served on the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, also called the Rumsfeld Commission, was an independent commission formed by the US Congress to evaluate the ballistic missile threat posed to the United States....

 in 1998. He is also a member of the JASON Defense Advisory Group
JASON Defense Advisory Group
JASON is an independent group of scientists which advises the United States government on matters of science and technology. The group was first created as a way to get a younger generation of scientists—that is, not the older Los Alamos and MIT Radiation Laboratory alumni—involved in advising the...


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