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John G. King '50, PhD '53

Francis Friedman Professor of Physics, emeritus

Francis Friedman Professor of Physics, emeritus

John G. King ’50 PhD ’53
Francis Friedman Professor of Physics, emeritus

Twice a graduate of MIT, John G. King was the Francis Freidman professor of physics, emeritus, and a member of the MIT faculty for more than 42 years. His personal mission during his time as a teacher of the Institute’s students was to create new methods for teaching physics that stressed hands-on learning and independent thinking. In addition, Professor King was a renowned experimental physicist, responsible for such scientific innovations as his null experiments, the molecular microscope, and the atomic clock. He had been recognized for his achievements as an educator, receiving the Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Alfred P. Sloan Award. 

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Commentary on his relationship with distinguished physicist Jerrold Zacharias.
  • Involvement with the Physical Science Study Committee and efforts to improve physics education.
  • Experiences with filmmaking and using film for educational purposes.
  • Overview of personal contributions to the field of experimental physics.

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