Norman Ramsey, Harvard physics professor since 1947 and Nobel laureate in 1989, died peacefully in his sleep at age 96 on Nov. 4. Ramsey was widely admired for his scientific accomplishments and for his skill as a scientific statesman. Ramsey was honored with the Davisson-Germer Prize, the Rabi Prize, IEEE Medal of Honor, the Compton Medal, the Oersted Medal, and the U.S. National Medal of Science, among many others. He also received honorary doctorates from several universities, including Oxford and Harvard. Ramsey and his Harvard colleague Edward Purcell (Nobel laureate 1952) wondered if positive and negative charges might cancel while remaining slightly separated within an uncharged neutron. Ramsey started the search for such an “electric dipole moment” and many theoretical predictions were disproved as more precise measurements failed to discover the elusive moment. Decades later, research teams (including those of John Doyle and Gerald Gabrielse at Harvard) pursued Ramsey’s quest with even...
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