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Alfred Otto Nier miscellany


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Alfred Otto Nier was born in St. Paul, MN on May 28, 1911. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Electrical Engineering but turned to the study of mass spectrometry in graduate school. Nier did graduate work at Harvard University in the area of isotopic abundances, then returned to Minnesota. During World War II he contributed to the Manhattan Project designing spectrographs for the monitoring of uranium separations. After the war he returned to Minnesota. Among the projects he tackled in his later years was the design of miniature mass spectrometers to be placed on Viking Landers on their missions to Mars. He died on May 16, 1994 following an auto accident.

There is a nice selection of various materials relating to the book project and to Nier's career in general. The oral history of Alfred O. C. Nier includes an electronic version of the text in a now-obsolete (three 5" floppy disks) format.

This is miscellaneous material (e-mails, reprints, matted photographs) relating to a book project on Alfred O.C. Nier and the history of mass spectrometry. There is also an oral history and a box of photographs related to the collection.

Donated by Michael Grayson on behalf of ASMS.

Source of acquisition--American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--2002..

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