Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Marshall N. Rosenbluth Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0670
1.4 Linear feet
(4 archives boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1960-2003
Abstract: Papers of Marshall Rosenbluth, professor at University of California, San Diego, and plasma physicist noted for his work in
thermonuclear fusion, the Rosenbluth formula on theoretical scattering, and his role in the discovery of Rosenbluth-Hinton
flows. The bulk of the collection contains his writings, speeches, photocopies of lecture transparencies, and documents relating
to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the JASON Defense Advisory Group.
Born in Albany, New York, on February 5, 1927, Marshall N. Rosenbluth graduated from high school in 1942 and after two years
in the U.S. Navy, graduated from Harvard with his bachelor's degree in 1946. He went on in 1949 to receive his Ph.D. with
a focus on high energy particle physics from the University of Chicago.
After his post-doctoral position at Stanford University (1949-1950) where he derived the Rosenbluth formula, he joined the
Los Alamos Laboratory and worked on the hydrogen bomb and other projects from 1950-1956. Rosenbluth's time at Los Alamo began
his life-long pursuit of fusion as an alternate energy source.
In 1956 Rosenbluth took the position of senior research advisor with the nuclear energy research company General Atomics (GA)
in San Diego. He continued working with GA even after being appointed professor of physics at University of California, San
Diego in 1960. After 1967, Rosenbluth took professorships at the Princeton Institute of Advanced Study and then at the University
of Texas at Austin before returning to UCSD and GA twenty years later in 1987. Rosenbluth retired from these positions in
1993 and began work as the chief scientist of the Central Team for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
until 1999. During this time, he was also involved with the JASON Defense Advisory Group, an independent group of scientists
that advised the United States government on military, science, and energy-related issues.
During his career Rosenbluth received many awards and recognitions including the E.O. Lawrence Prize, awarded by the U.S.
Atomic Energy Commission in 1964; the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics, awarded by the American Physical Society
in 1976; the National Medal of Science, awarded by President Clinton in 1997; and the Nicholson Medal from the American Physical
Society in 2000.
Rosenbluth died in 2003.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Marshall Rosenbluth Papers document Rosenbluth's research and writings in the field of plasma physics and the commercial
use of fusion as an energy source. The collection is arranged in six series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) SPEECHES
AND REMARKS, 4) TRANSPARENCIES, 5) BIOGRAPHICAL, and 6) MISCELLANEOUS.
Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series dates from 1960 to 2003, is arranged chronologically, and includes correspondence with Dr. Philip
Handler, John D. Lindl, Dr. Steven Koonin, and others, in addition to correspondence with the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory
Series 2: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series is arranged into two subseries: General and JASON Defense Advisory Group. Both subseries are arranged
alphabetically by title.
Series 3: SPEECHES AND REMARKS
The SPEECHES AND REMARKS series is arranged alphabetically by title and comprises mostly award acceptance speeches and lectures
Series 4: TRANSPARENCIES
The TRANSPARENCIES series contains both hand-written and typed transparencies used by Rosenbluth during lectures. They are
arranged alphabetically according to subject terms found within the transparencies themselves. Subjects covered include the
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), free electron lasers, and tokamaks. For preservation, hand-written
transparencies have been photocopied and the originals have been removed.
Series 5: BIOGRAPHICAL
The BIOGRAPHICAL series includes articles about and interviews with Rosenbluth, awards received and documents on his family
Series 6: MISCELLANEOUS
The MISCELLANEOUS series comprises two conference pamphlets and an article written by R. J. Bickerton with Rosenbluth's handwritten
notes in the margins.
Marshall N. Rosenbluth Papers, MSS 670. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Physicists -- United States
Plasma (Ionized gases)
Rosenbluth, M. N. -- Archives
Koonin, Steven E. -- Correspondence
Lindl, John -- Correspondence
Handler, Philip, 1917-1981 -- Correspondence