Lewi Tonks


Lewi Tonks

Lewi Tonks (1897-1971) was an American quantum physicist noted for his discovery (with Marvin D. Girardeau) of the Tonks-Girardeau gas.

Tonks was employed by the General Electric for most of his working life, researching microwaves and ferromagnetism. He worked under Irving Langmuir on plasma physics, with a special interest in ball lightning, nuclear fusion, tungsten filament light bulbs, and lasers.

Tonks advocated a logarithmic pressure scale for vacuum technology to replace the torr.

Tonks was notable for his high ethical standards and concern with social problems. Several times, he put up bail money for people who could not themselves afford to do so; he provided career counselling for the poor in deprived areas; and after retiring from GE, worked as a volunteer for the Schenectady Human Rights Commission; and also campaigned on Vietnam war issues.

Death and Professional Papers

In July 1971, Tonks died of a heart attack at the age of seventy-four. He left behind his wife Edna and three children, Mary Lew, Joan and Bruce L. Tonks.

After his dealth, his collected papers containing correspondence, both personal and professional, research notes, drafts of papers and completed research papers from 1930's to the 1960s passed to his wife. Shortly thereafter, the collection was deposited at the Niels Bohr Library in College Park, Maryland.

External links

* http://www.aip.org/history/esva/catalog/esva/Tonks_Lewi.html
* http://www.aip.org/history/ead/aip_tonks/20030130.html


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