Daniel Kleppner


Daniel Kleppner, born 1932, is the Lester Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Physics at MIT and co-director of the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms. His areas of science include Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, and his research interests include Experimental Atomic Physics, Laser Spectroscopy, and High Precision Measurements.[3] He is the winner of the 2005 Wolf Prize in Physics,[4] the 2007 Frederic Ives Medal, and the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Medal.[5] Prof. Kleppner has also been awarded the National Medal of Science (2006). He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986,[6] the French Academy of Sciences in 2004,[7] and the American Philosophical Society in 2007.[8] Together with Robert J. Kolenkow, he authored a popular introductory mechanics textbook for advanced students. Kleppner graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in 1953, Cambridge University with a B.A. in 1955, and Harvard University with a Ph.D. in 1959.[9]

Daniel Kleppner
Born (1932-12-16) December 16, 1932 (age 89)
Alma materWilliams College (B.A.)
University of Cambridge
Harvard University (Ph.D.)
Known forAtomic physics
Spouse(s)Beatrice Kleppner
AwardsLilienfeld Prize (1991)
Oersted Medal (1997)
Wolf Prize in Physics (2005)
National Medal of Science (2006)
Franklin Institute Award (2014)
Scientific career
ThesisThe Broken Beam Resonance Experiment[1] (1959)
Doctoral advisorNorman Ramsey
Doctoral studentsDavid E. Pritchard[citation needed]
William Daniel Phillips[citation needed]
Julia Steinberger[2]



Kleppner's father was Otto Kleppner, founder of an advertising agency.[10]

Education and careerEdit

Kleppner graduated from Williams College in 1953 in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He also attended Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he attended the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.[citation needed]

In the 1950s, Kleppner became a physics doctoral student at Harvard University, where he worked under Norman Ramsey. Here, Kleppner took the concepts behind an ammonia maser and applied them to a hydrogen maser, which became his Ph.D. thesis. Kleppner did important research into Rydberg atoms.[11] Later he became interested in creating a Hydrogen Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). In 1995, a group of researchers, including Kleppner's former students, made a BEC using Rubidium atoms. It was not until 1998 until Kleppner and Tom Greytak finally created a Hydrogen BEC.[12]


Kleppner and Robert J. Kolenkow wrote An Introduction to Mechanics in 1973. 40 years later, Kleppner and Kolenkow returned to edit and publish a second edition in 2013.

  • Kleppner, Daniel; Robert J. Kolenkow (1973). An Introduction to Mechanics. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-035048-9.

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Thomas J. Greytak; Daniel Kleppner (2001). "Bose-Einstein Condensation". McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology: 64–67.
  • D. G. Fried; T. C. Killian; L. Willmann; D. Landhuis; S. C. Moss; D. Kleppner; T. J. Greytak (1998). "Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen". Physical Review Letters. 81 (18): 3811. arXiv:physics/9809017. Bibcode:1998PhRvL..81.3811F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.81.3811. S2CID 3174641.
  • T. C. Killian; D. G. Fried; L. Willmann; D. Landhuis; S. C. Moss; T. J. Greytak; D. Kleppner (1998). "Cold Collision Frequency Shift of the 1S-2S Transition in Hydrogen". Physical Review Letters. 81 (18): 3807. arXiv:physics/9809016. Bibcode:1998PhRvL..81.3807K. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.81.3807. S2CID 18665492.
  • C. L. Cesar; D. G. Fried; T. C. Killian; A. D. Polcyn; J. C. Sandberg; I. A. Yu; T. J. Greytak; D. Kleppner (1996). "Two-Photon Spectroscopy of Trapped Atomic Hydrogen". Physical Review Letters. 77 (2): 255–258. Bibcode:1996PhRvL..77..255C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.255. hdl:1721.1/11193. PMID 10062405.
  • T. C. Killian; D. G. Fried; C. L. Cesar; A. D. Polycn; T. J. Greytak; D. Kleppner (1996). "Doppler-Free Spectroscopy of Trapped Atomic Hydrogen". Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Atomic Physics.


  1. ^ "Harvard Physics PhD Theses, 1954-1970" (PDF). Harvard University Department of Physics. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  2. ^ Julia Steinberger (2004). Progress towards high precision measurements on ultracold metastable hydrogen and trapping deuterium (PhD thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/28649. OCLC 655586822.  
  3. ^ MIT Department of Physics
  4. ^ Kleppner awarded international Wolf Prize for physics | MIT News
  5. ^ https://archive.today/20131106155044/http://www.fi.edu/franklinawards/14/bf_physics.html. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Daniel Kleppner". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  7. ^ "Daniel Kleppner | Liste des membres de l'Académie des sciences / K | Listes par ordre alphabétique | Listes des membres | Membres | Nous connaître". www.academie-sciences.fr. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  8. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  9. ^ Daniel Kleppner Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Otto kleppner". The New York Times. 1982-08-05. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  11. ^ Daniel Kleppner | MIT150 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology 150th anniversary Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Daniel Kleppner | The Franklin Institute

External linksEdit

  • Faculty page at MIT
  • Interview with Daniel Kleppner (Video)