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Frederick Seitz

Frederick Seitz was President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, former President of the National Academy of Science, founding Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, and founder of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. He died at the age of 96 in 2008.

With Eugene Wigner, Professor Seitz pioneered one of the first quantum theory of crystals and developed concepts such as the Wigner-Seitz unit cell. With Hillard Huntington, he made the first calculation of the energies of formation and migration of vacancies and interstitials in copper, inspiring many works on point defects in metals.

His books include The Modern Theory of Solids, On the Frontier, My Life in Science, and Stalin’s Captive: Nikolaus Riehl and the Soviet Race for the Bomb (with Nikolaus Riehl).

He was the recipient of the National Medal of Science, and also served as Professor of Physics at Carnegie Institute of Technology and University of Illinois, Research Physicist at the General Electric Laboratories, Chairman of the American Institute of Physics, Editor of Academic Press, Chairman of the American Physics Society, Editorial Board Member of Physica Status Solidi B.

Professor Seitz was the recipient of the National Medal of Science, Franklin Medal, Stanford University’s Herbert Hoover Medal, United States Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Distinguished Public Service Award, Compton Award, David Rockefeller Award for Extraordinary Service to The Rockefeller University, and James Madison Medal of Princeton University. In addition, he received honorary degrees from 31 universities in the United States and abroad.

Hot Talk, Cold Science (Foreword) 1999

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