Raymond Seeger

Raymond Seeger

Ray Seeger joined the GW Physics Department in 1930. For the next twelve years, before the second world war, while carrying a full teaching responsibility, he published results of his research work with Edward Teller on topics in quantum solid-state physics. During the war, he worked at the Naval Bureau of Ordinance with John von Neumann and John G. Kirkwood on shock waves and fluid dynamics. (Albert Einstein was a consultant for the Bureau at the same time.) Ray recommended acquisition by the Navy of one of the first computers to be used for experimental mathematics and fluid mechanics.

He subsequently became a noted lecturer, organizer, administrator, and author in physics and philosophy.

He published over 200 articles as well as seven books:

Our Physical Heritage" 1938
"Research Frontiers in Fluid Dynamics" (coeditor) 1965
"Galileo Galilei" 1966
"Ernst Mach: Physicist and Philosopher" (coeditor) 1970
"Benjamin Franklin: New World Physicist" 1973
"Josiah Willard Gibbs: American Mathematical Physicist par excellence" 1974
"Philosophical Foundations of Science" (coeditor) 1974
"Companions in Zealous Research", unpublished. 1976


1906 Born, Elizabeth, New Jersey, September 20
1926 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers, B.A. in Physics
1929 Doctorate in theoretical physics (under Leigh Page and R. Bruce Lindsay), Yale University (Honorary D.Sc. degrees from Kent State University and the University of Dubuque.)
1929-1930 Assoc. Prof. and Head, Physics, Presbyterian College, South Carolina
1930-1942 Asst. and Assoc. Prof. of Physics, The George Washington University
1935-1942 Collaborated with Edward Teller in applications of quantum mechanics
1942-1946 On war leave, worked at the Naval Bureau of Ordnance on the description of high explosives. He worked with John von Neumann and John G. Kirkwood on shock-wave phenomena and fluid dynamics. He received the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Navy.
1946-1947 Professorial Lecturer, Physics, The George Washington University
1947-1952 Chief, Mechanics Division, Chief, Aeroballistic Research Department, Naval Ordinance Laboratory, White Oak,
1947-1948 Lecturer, Aeronautical Engineering, The John Hopkins University
1949-1952 Organizer and First Director, Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mechanics Institute, University of Maryland
1952-1970 Special Assistant to the Director, Deputy Assistant Director for the Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, and Executive Secretary, National Science Board Committee on Physical Sciences Report, National Science Foundation
1954-1972 Adjunct Professor and Director of the Summer Institute on the History and Philosophy of Science, the American University
1960-1961 Summer Lecture, Education, the Catholic University of America
1961-1962 Visiting scholar, Oxford University
1972-1992 Invited speaker and author
1992 Died, Bethesda, Maryland, February 14