Born on 22 March 1909 in Brooklyn, New York, Nathan Rosen was known for his work in quantum chemistry and his research with Albert Einstein. Rosen was educated at MIT, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrochemical engineering in 1929 and his doctorate in physics in 1932. As a student he produced the first reliable quantum mechanical calculation of the structure of the hydrogen molecule. During the Depression, Rosen held several postdoctoral positions, including as an assistant to Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1935 Rosen, Einstein, and another of Einstein’s assistants, Boris Podolsky, published their controversial EPR paper in the Physical Review, in which they claimed quantum theory was incomplete because the wavefunction doesn’t provide a complete description of reality. Rosen then went on to study the theory of gravitation, for which he developed a concept concerning wormholes called the Einstein–Rosen bridge, and cowrote a paper on gravitational waves with Einstein. From 1936 to 1938, Rosen worked as a theoretical physics professor at Kiev State University in the Soviet Union. After stints at MIT, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rosen accepted a physics professorship at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, where he founded Technion’s Institute of Theoretical Physics. Rosen remained at Technion until he retired in 1979 as Gerard Swope Professor Emeritus of Physics. He continued to teach and publish in scientific journals well after his retirement. Among his many accomplishments, Rosen was a founder of the Israel Physical Society and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and he helped establish the engineering school at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba. He died at age 86 in 1995. (Photo credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection)
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22 March 2018
The American-Israeli physicist excelled in quantum chemistry and cowrote several famous papers with Albert Einstein.
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