Preliminary Guide to the Fritz London Papers, 1922 - 1994
Fritz London, physicist and theoretical chemist, formulated the London equations of superconductivity with his brother, Heinz London. After fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933, London held appointments at Oxford and Paris, then at Duke University from 1939 to 1954. He specialized in low temperature physics and quantum chemistry, and authored Superfluids (1950) and numerous articles. The Fritz London Papers include correspondence, notes, manuscripts, reprints, and other materials, with bulk dates 1926-1954. The more than 300 correspondents include Walter Heitler, F.A. Lindemann, Max von Laue, Wolfgang Pauli, Michael Polyani, Erwin Schrödinger, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and other noted scientists. Other materials include galleys and drafts of Superfluids, lab notebooks, course materials, notes, bound reprints. Materials acquired after London's death include interviews with Edith London; memorials; copies of correspondence held in other repositories; selected publications and interview transcripts; and indexes to London's scientific correspondence. English and German.
- Fritz London papers
- London, Fritz, 1900-1954
- 7.6 linear feet, 3,500 items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
- English and German.
The Fritz London Papers include correspondence, notes, manuscripts, reprints, and other materials, with bulk dates 1926-1954. The more than 300 correspondents include Walter Heitler, F.A. Lindemann, Max von Laue, Wolfgang Pauli, Michael Polyani, Erwin Schrödinger, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and other noted scientists. Major subjects include chemistry and theoretical physics, the Nazi regime and its effects on German scientists and academics, and London's emigration from Germany. Other materials include galleys and drafts of Superfluids, 30 lab notebooks, course materials, notes, bound reprints, and a manuscript on the significance of quantum theory for chemistry. Materials acquired after London's death include interviews with Mrs. London; memorials; copies of correspondence held in other repositories; indexes to London's scientific correspondence prepared by Kostas Gavroglou; a bound volume of notes written out by London from lectures given by Prof. Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951) at the University of Munich.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Includes professional letters and correspondence, with a significant portion in German. Earlier accessions of correspondence (Boxes 1-2) are organized chronologically, while later accessions of correspondence are organized alphabetically by correspondent. There is significant overlap between the two arrangement types, and both should be consulted. An index to the correspondence is available; please contact University Archives for more information. The more than 300 correspondents include Walter Heitler, F.A. Lindemann, Max von Laue, Wolfgang Pauli, Michael Polyani, Erwin Schrödinger, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, and other noted scientists.
Additional materials written by named correspondents also appear in Box 1 and 2.
Includes articles, lectures, reprints, and manuscript drafts written, and sometimes annotated, by London. Also included are writings of London's colleagues, as well as articles and interview about London's life and work, written after his death in 1954.
Includes lecture notes and formulas for courses taught by London. Some overlap may exist with the Writings and manuscripts series and the Notes series.
Includes lab notebooks, note cards, and other notes relating to London's research, writing, and teaching.
Includes slides of manuscript pages and technical drawings, oversized drawings, and two sound recordings of oral history interviews related to London's life and work.
Oral history interviews require the creation of listening copies before use. Please contact Archives staff prior to visiting the Duke University Archives to access these materials.
This accession includes photocopies of correspondence between Laszlo Tisza and Fritz London, dating from 1938-1952, as well as interview transcripts of Tisza by Kostas Gavroglu (1987-1988), additional correspondence, and copies of selected publications. These materials were received from the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, which houses the originals in the Laszlo Tisza Papers (MC 676).
Fritz Wolfgang London was born in Breslau, Germany (Wrocjaw, Poland) in 1900, brother of Heinz London and son of a professor of mathematics in Bonn. He studied classics at the universities of Frankfurt and Munich and did research in philosophy leading to a doctorate at Bonn. Later he was attracted to theoretical physics and worked with Arnold Sommerfeld at Munich and Erwin Schrodinger at Zurich University in 1927, and published on the quantum theory of the chemical bond with Walter Heitler. In 1930 he calculated the non-polar component of forces between molecules, now called van der Waals or London forces. He and his brother fled from Germany in 1933 to Oxford where they joined Sir Francis Simon's group at the Clarendon Laboratory. Together they published major papers on conductivity giving the London equations (1935). Fritz moved to Duke University in the USA (1939-54) and continued to work on superconductivity and superfluidity.
[Biography from Chambers Biographical Dictionary, 1997]
- The German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collection. (M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University at Albany, State University of New York.)
[Identification of item], Fritz London Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Fritz London Papers were received by the University Archives as a gift in 1948-2005.
This collection is unprocessed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.
Accession UA2010-0003 is included in this finding aid.
Encoded by Jill Katte, March 2005
Updated by Meghan Lyon, March 2010