John David Jackson General Physics, Subatomic Particles, Optics, Biophysics, Theoretical Physics

Author of Classical Electrodynamics

The Story

Jackson received his BSc in physics and math at UWO in 1946 and his PhD in physics from MIT, Boston in 1949. He taught at McGill University for seven years and at the University of Illinois for ten before moving to Berkeley in 1967. He was head of the theory group at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and later was head of the physics division at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Jackson was the first person to calculate and remark upon the astoundingly small width of the J/psi resonance. He is the author of two classic textbooks, Physics of Elementary Particles, 1958, and Classical Electrodynamics, 1962. While Jackson lived in the USA for much of his adult life, he did not become an American citizen until 1988, and hence was a Canadian when he did his major scientific work.

Sources: Who’s Who in America 1994, Berkeley websites.


The Person

January 19, 1925
London, Ontario
Other Interests
Swimming, hiking, history of science
Emeritus Physics Professor
Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Center for Theoretical Physics
  • B.Sc., 1946, Honors Physics and Mathematics, University of Western Ontario
  • Ph.D., 1949, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (1990)
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1989)
  • Berkeley Citation, University of California at Berkeley (1993)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Last Updated
October 15, 2001
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