Henry E. Duckworth:

An Inventory of his papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Lewis St. George Stubbs
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
334 Elizabeth Dafoe Library
(September 2009)

Finding aid encoded by Lewis St. George Stubbs (September 2009)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
334 Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Henry E. Duckworth

Henry E. Duckworth fonds


2.1m. of textual records including 8 photographs & 30 drawings

MSS 119 PC 121 (A. 09-47)

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Biography of Dr. Henry Edmison Duckworth

Dr. Henry Edmison Duckworth's association with the University of Manitoba, going back more than 65 years, has been most significant. Since entering university in 1931 he distinguished himself in becoming the only person in the history of Manitoba universities to have had such a varied combination of participation in academic life: student, multiple graduate, professor, vice-president (academic), president, professor emeritus and, lastly, chancellor of the University of Manitoba.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba on November 1, 1915, he was the only child of Ann Hutton (nee Edmison) and the Rev. Henry Bruce Duckworth, D.D. He grew up in the communities which his father served. When Henry Jr. was eleven the family moved from his father's ministry in Transcona to St. James in 1926, the year after church union. When Parkview and Hampton Street United Churches merged in 1929, Rev. Dr. Duckworth was name first minister of the newly-formed St. James United. By 1936 he was named minister at old St. Andrew's United Church in central Winnipeg. In 1950 Rev. Dr. Duckworth became the founding minister of the then new Westworth United Church -- the "worth" having been so named in honour of his contributions. Thought almost 70, he remained unfailingly conscientious to his flock and continued providing Sunday services in and around the city and at points in northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

As a minister's wife, Ann Hutton Edmison Duckworth contributed substantially to the communities to which her husband ministered. Mrs. Duckworth well knew the important duties of serving the church, for her father, Henry Edmison, had long been a Presbyterian minister in Ontario and Quebec. He earned a B.A. in 1963, followed by an M.A. in 1866 from Queen's University. The family moved to Brandon. When Dr. Duckworth was a youth, his aged grandfather lived with them and impressed upon him the value of a good education and reading.

Henry Jr. recalled that the only period when he was not in school was the first seven years of his life. He attended elementary schools in Transcona and St. James and graduated from St. James Collegiate. He entered university in September 1931, attending classes at United and Wesley Colleges. While he no longer had his paper route, he remained for some time as cub pack leader for the young People's Society and as a member of a tennis club. Aside from his studies and community service, Duckworth was much involved in United College athletics: secretary of the athletic council, guard on the junior 'b' basketball team and captain of the college's senior football team in 1935.

He earned his B.A. in 1935, his B.Sc. in 1936 and a School of Education teaching certificate in 1937, all from the University of Manitoba. In 1937 he represented the education class on the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU) executive and on the Inter-Faculty Athletic Council. Duckworth taught secondary school mathematics at Stonewall Collegiate (Manitoba) for a year until 1938 when, at not yet twenty-three years of age, he became a lecturer in physics at United College (later to become the University of Winnipeg). After teaching for three years, he entered the University of Chicago on a University Fellowship as a Ph.D. candidate and earned his doctorate in physics in 1942.

Later that year on November 21, he and Katherine Jane McPherson were married in Ottawa. She had graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from the University of Manitoba the previous year, having been a prize and scholarship winner throughout her university years. Dr. Duckworth first saw his future wife in his father's church, St. Andrew's Elgin Avenue United, where the young dietitian sang in the choir. It was also in that very church that Katherine's parents had met and were later married in 1895. During World War II, Henry and Katherine brought their newborn son Henry William (Harry) to be baptized at St. Andrew's by his grandfather.

The period of study for his Ph.D. was followed by three years as a defense research scientist in radar and atomic energy during World War II for the National Research Council of Canada (1942-1944 in Ottawa as junior scientist and 1944-1945 in Hamilton as assistant research physicist). Duckworth enlisted in the ranks for the Royal Canadian Signal Corps but was transferred to civilian duty in the radio laboratory of the NRCC as part of the Canadian radar program and later, the British-Canadian nuclear program.

Duckworth's interest in the highly specialized field of mass spectroscopy began in 1940 in the laboratory of Arthur Dempster, an eminent expatriate Canadian who was his dissertation advisor. Duckworth became a pioneer in nuclear physics for his notable and numerous contributions in predicting energies released in the process of nuclear transmutation and discovering the rare stable isotope of platinum--mass 190 (then the rarest and lightest know). While with the National Research Council at Ottawa, Duckworth assembled the first mass spectrograph ever erected in Canada.

In order to accurately predict nuclear transmutation energies, Duckworth improved the quality of the mass spectrometer which then facilitated the possibility that "high Precision" determinations could be made of the atomic masses of molecules. Through this work he learned the breakthrough evidence that some sudden charges occurring as atoms subsequently merge to form molecules.

Duckworth was appointed assistant professor of physics at the University of Manitoba (1945-1946) and subsequently associate professor of physics and director of nuclear research at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut from 1946-1951 and professor of physics at McMaster University from 1951-1965. During his last four years at McMaster, Duckworth served as Chairman of the Physics Department and of Graduate Studies. He returned to the University of Manitoba on July 1, 1965, first as Vice-President (Development), and one year later, becoming Vice-President (Academic), a position he held for the following six years.

For the 1970-1971 academic term, Duckworth was visiting professor of physics at Université Laval until he was appointed President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg on August 31, 1971. Praised variously as displaying firm, wise, fair and resolute leadership as a first class administrator, Duckworth helped guide the institution during much of the first ten years of its history as a separate university. He stepped down as President in 1981. In 1986 he was chosen Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, a position he greatly enjoyed until the end of his tenure in 1992.

Duckworth's professional contributions are legion. He has held long-time memberships in the Royal Society of Canada (Fellow, 1954; Tory Medal, 1965; President, 1971-1972), in the Canadian Association of Physicists (President, 1960-1961; C.A.P. Medal of Achievement, 1964) and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. As well, he served as a member of the executive and Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (chair, 1977-1980; member, 1977-1979), of the Canadian Environmental Advisory Council (1973-1976), of the Science Council of Canada (1973-1977), of the National Library Advisory Board (1974-1979) and of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (President, 1976-1977).

Duckworth has been a member of countless other organization, such as the Society of the Sigma Xi (1947); Canadian Journal of Physics (editor, 1956-1962); National Research Council's Honourary Advisory Council (1961-1967); chair, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Commission on Atomic Masses and Related Constants and secretary of their Commission on Nuclidic Masses (1966-1969); Defence Research Board (1965-1971); Selection Committee of the Order of Canada (1971-1972); chair, Evaluation Committee for Communications Technology Satellite (1972-1975); Killam Committee, Canada Council (1972-1975); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (1978-1980); Institute for Research on Public Policy (director, 1978-1980); Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. (director, 1979-1980); Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety of Atomic Energy Control Board (chair, 1980); Manitoba Council of Literacy (chair, 1990); Manitoba Club and Rotary Club of Manitoba.

Having led an outstanding career in research, Duckworth has over his lengthy career written about one hundred scholarly scientific papers. His research has been chiefly concentrated upon the precise determination of atomic masses and evidence obtained from this for variations in nuclear stability. Principal among his publications in this and other physics-related subjects is a textbook, Electricity and Magnetism (MacMillan and Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1960), a monograph on Mass Spectrroscopy (Cambridge University Press, 1958), a layman's account of atomic physics, Little Men in the Unseen World (Macmillan, 1963) and edited the Proceedings of the International Conference on Atomic Masses (1960).

In 1976 Duckworth received Canada's highest civilian honour -- The Order of Canada, from Governor-General Jules Leger. Duckworth has also received ten honourary degrees: United College/University of Winnipeg (Fellow, 1966), University of Ottawa (D.Sc., 1966), McMaster University (D.Sc., 1969), Université Laval (D.Sc., 1979), Mount Allison University (D.Sc., 1971), University of New Brunswick (D.Sc., 1972), Queen's University (D.Sc., 1978), University of Western Ontario (D.Sc., 1979), Brandon University (D.Sc., 1982) and University of Winnipeg (LL.D., 1984). He was also the recipient of the Nuttfield Foundation Traveling Fellowship (1955). Duckworth was honoured, too, by his birth province, with The Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 1992. The University of Manitoba has awarded him the University of Manitoba Alumni Jubilee Award (1961), an Honourary Doctor of Laws (1978) followed by the designation Professor Emeritus of Physics (1983) and the University of Manitoba Distinguished Service Medal (1992).

Duckworth was a popular speaker at academic, community or social gatherings. His shy, retiring nature seems to belie the fact that his speeches from the years 1938 to 1996 number in the hundreds. They are replete with reminders of the patient tact, thoughtful precision, forthrightness and persistent good humour of the man who wrote and spoke them. Duckworth has been a stamp collector for most of his life and is respected for his knowledge of specialized areas of philately. He and his son co-authored a book in that field, The Large Queens Stamps of Canada and Their Use, 1868-1872 (1985).

His son, Henry William (Harry), was born in Ottawa on October 11, 1943. He earned his B.Sc. (Hons) from McMaster University in 1965, receiveed his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale University in 1970, became a post-doctoral fellow in medical cell biology at the University of Toronto and has long been a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manitoba (Department Head since 1994). He is a noted author of fur trade history. He married Mary Lynn Hollier (B.Cs. Hons, 1966; M.Sc., 1967, Ph.D., 1980 - all from the University of Manitoba). Dr. Mary Lynn Duckworth is an assitant professor of physiology at her alma mater.

Daughter Jane Edmison received her B.A. in French from the University of Manitoba in 1970, continued her studies at Université Laval and did post-graduate work at McGill University. She married Dr. Andrew Maksymiuk and they are the parents of Daniel, Michael and Catherine Jane. They lived in Montreal for many years before moving to Saskatoon, where Dr. Maksymiuk is an oncologist.

After close to forty-nine years of marriage, Katherine (Kay) Duckworth died on August 23, 1991 after a valiant struggle with cancer. She had been the ultimate support and inspiration for her husband and family. The family residences over the years, at 69 Oak and later, 76 Wilton in Winnipeg, were testimonials to Mrs. Duckworth's ability to make a genuine home. In addition, she well served the communities in which she lived by her dedication to countless causes and organizations.

Dr. Duckworth's Chancellorship portrait hangs in a place of honour in the Reference Hall of Elizabeth Dafoe Library. One of the honours which pleased Dr. Duckworth most was the official naming of the green space in the centre of the university grounds as "The Duckworth Quadrangle", where a plaque cairn cites his vast contributions. His son, Harry, and daughter-in-law, May Lynn, planted one of the large trees around the Quadrangle in 1990 in honour of Dr. Duckworth, Sr. He was instrumental in having biographical plaques erected to commemorate all those who have had buildings and land named after them on University of Manitoba campuses.

The University of Winnipeg has also honoured the man who gabve so much during the university's formative years. It fully modern sports complex bears the name, "The Duckworth Centre".

He celebrated his 80th birthday in 1995. Eariler that year on August 18, he and Shirley Yvonne Craik were married. In 1996 they moved to a residence at the junction of River Avenue and Wellington Crescent. Dr. Duckworth died on December 18, 2008.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consist of seven series. They include: Biological Information, Articles & Conference Papers, Student Notes, Teaching Material, Atomic Mass Conference in Winnipeg, Correspondence & Photographs & Drawings (PC 121).

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access

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Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

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Custodial History

The material was donated by Henry W. Duckworth in 2009.

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Other Finding Aids

Earlier accessions are held as MSS 119

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Detailed Description of the Collection


11 Duckworth obituary 2008

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11A "Mass Spectroscopic Atomic Mass Diferences" Duckworth et al. in REview of Modern Physics 1954
2 "Mass Spectroscopy" in Cambridge Monographs on Physics 1957
3 "Weighing Atoms" in American Journal of Physics 1957
4 "A Large Semi-Circular Mass Spectrometer for Atomic Mass Determinations" Duckworth et al. in Nuclear Masses & their Determination 1957
5 "Mass Spectroscopic Atomic Mass Diferences II " in Reviews of Modern Physics 1957
6 "Atomic Masses of Kr84, Kr85, Xe129, Hg200,Hg201, & Hg204" John T. Kerr & Duckworth in Canadian Journal of Physics 1958
7 "Some New Atomic Mass Determination Made with a Large Single-Focusing Mass Spectrometer" Duckworth et al. in Advances in Mass Spectrometry 1959-1960
8 "The Luminescence Response of Phosphors to Low Energy Ion Bombardment" C.F. Eve & Duckworth in the Canadian Journal of Physics 1958
9 "First Measurements with the McMaster Double-Focusing Mass Spectrometer" Duckworth et al. Proceedings of the International Conference on Nuclidic Masses 1960
10 "Some Recent Determinations of Atomic Masses in the Strontium-Zirconium Region" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1960
11 Proceedings of the INternational Conference on Nuclidic Masses, McMaster Universitry edited by Duckworth 1960
21 "The New Unit of Atomic Mass" in Canadian Journal of Physics 1961
2 "The Present Status of Atomic Mass Determinations" in Physics in Canada 1961
3 "Relative Ionization Effeciencies for Elements in a Spark Source" Duckworth et al. in Advances in Mass Spectrometry Vol. 2 1962
4 "Some Precision Mass Differences between Tin Isotopes" Duckworth et al. in Physical Review Letters 1962
5 "Careers in Canadian Physics" in The Decisive Years ca.1962
6 "Energy Loss in Condensed Matter of H1 & He4 in the Energy Range 4< E < 30kev" Duckworth et al. in Canadian Journal of Physics 1962
7 "Some Atomic Masses & Neutron Separation Energies for Isotopes of Tin & Antimony" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1962
8 "Systematics Governing Double Neutron Seperation Energies between the 50 & 82 neutron shells" Journal of Canadian Physics 1963
9 "The Vacuum Vibrator as a Source of Ions for Mass Spectroscopy" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1963
10 "Neutron Sephraton Energies for Zirconium & the Zr96-Nb96 & Nb94 - Zr94 Decay Energies
11 "Stopping Cross Sections in Carbon for Low Energy Atoms Z<12+" Duckworth & Ormrod 1963
12 "Recent Mass Values obtained at McMaster University" Duckworth et al. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Nuclidic Masses in Vienna 1963
13 "Some New Mass Comparisons Involving Isotopes T1, V, Tn, Ga, & Se" Duckworth et al. in Canadian Journal of Physics 1963
14 "Direct Determinations of the Sm144 - Nd144 & Nd150 - Sm150 Energy Differences" Duckworth et al. in Physics Letters 1964
15 "The Shape of the Mass Surface in the Region of 90 Neutrons" Duckworth et al. Editions du Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique 1964
16 "Some New Neutron Seperation for Isotopes of Hg, T1, Pb & Bi" Duckworth et al 1964
17 " Symposium on Organization & Support of Basic Scientific Research in Canada" Chairman's Remarks in Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada 1964
18 "The Mass Effect Corresponding to the Onset of the Nuclear Deformation in the Region N-90" Duckworth et al in Physical REview Letters 1964
19 "Some Low-Energy Atomic Stopping Cross-Sections" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1965
20 "Atomic Masses & Nuclear Stability" Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada 1965
21 "Shopping Cross Sections in Boron of Low Atomic Number Atoms with Energies from 15 to 140 Kev" in Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung 1965
31 "Precise Atomic Mass Differences Involving Isotopes of Nd, Sm., Cd & Pb" Duckworth et al. in Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung 1966
2 "Part 1 Atomic Mass Determinations at McMaster University & the University of Manitoba" Duckworth et al. in Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Atomic Masses Winnipeg 1967
3 "Part II A New Second-Order Double-Focussing Mass Spectrometer" Duckworth et al. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Atomic Masses Winnipeg 1967
4 "University Research & Governments" in Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada ca.1968
5 "New Atomic Mass Differences & Mass Systematics in the Region 100 < N < 126" Duckworth et al. ca.1968
6 "How to Live with the Philistines" in Physics Today 1968
7 "Neutron Separation & Pairing Energies in the Region 82<N<126" Duckworth et al. in Physical Review Letters 1969
8 "Recent Developments in Mass Spectroscopy" Proceedings of the International Conference on Mass Spectrocopy 1970
9 "New Atomic Mass Differences & Mass Systematics in the Region < N < 126" Duckworth et al. in Nuclear Physics 1970
10 "Precise Atomic Mass Differences & Mass Systematics in the Region of 90 Neutrons" Duckworth et al. Nuclear Physics 1970
11 Separation & Pairing Energies Involving Isotopes of Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu & Hf" Duckworth et al. in Nuclear Physics 1970
12 "A High Resolution Mass Spectrometer for Atomic Mass Determinations" Duckworth et al. Review of Scientific Instruments 1971
13 "Precise Atomic-Mass Differences in the Region of 59<Z <69" Duckworth et al. in Canadian Journal of Physics 1972
14 "The Precise Determination of Atomic Masses" Duckworth & Peter Williams in Scientific Progress 1972
15 "Precise Atomic Mass Differences Using Peak-Matching by Computer" Duckworth et al. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry & Ion Physics" 1972-1973
16 "Spacing of Nuclear Ground-State Levels in the 94<N<114" Duckworth et al. Physical Review Letters 1973
17 "Precise Atomic Mass Differences for 68<Z<72" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1974
18 "Present Status of the Program of Atomic Mass Determinations at the University of Manitoba" Duckworth et al. in Atomic Masses & Fundamental Constants 1976
19 "Nucleon Separation & Pairing Energies, Decay Energies, & Atomic Masses for 68<Z<72" Duckworth et al. Journal of Canadian Physics 1977
20 "Envirornmental Aspects of Nuclear Power Development in Canada" Duckworth et al. Canadian Advisory Council Occasional Paper No.2 1977
21 "Precise Atomic Mass differences for Wide Doublets as Determined with the Manitoba II Mass Spectrometer" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1977
22 "Precise Single Neutron Seperation Energies of Ti, Fe, & Zu" Duckworth et al. in Canadian Journal of Physics 1977
23 "Precise Atomic Masses & Mass Differences for W. & Re" Duckworth et al. in Canadian Journal of Physics 1977
24 "Operation of a Long Helium Jet Transport System with Solid, Monodisperse Aerosols" Duckworth et al. Canadian Journal of Physics 1979
25 "Atomic Mass of 180Ta A Naturally Occuring Isomer" Duckworth et al. in Physics Letters 1980

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41 Physics 254 Electricity & Magnetism 1938
2 Physics 262 Experimental Molecular Physics & Heat 1938
3 Student notes ca. 1938
4 Physics II 1938
5 Physics II Mechanics, heat & sound 1938
6 Experiment (4) Measurement of High Resistance Physics 264 1939
7 Experiment: Effects of Resistance on Salvonometer Dumping 1939
8 Experiments (7) & (8) Determination of Y 1939
9 Copies of qualifying exams 1933-1941
10 Experiments (4) & (5) Viscosity of Liquids & Gases 1939
11 Experiment (6) Thermal Conductivity ca. 1939
12 The Mechanisms of Nuclear Physics 1939
51 A Study of the Quadrant Electrometer 1940
2 Xrays & electrons 1940
3 Theoretical Mechanics I 1940
4 Thermodynamics 1940
5 Electron Theory of Solids 1940-1941
6 Line Spectra & Atomic Structures 1940-1941
7 Course notes 1941
61 Physics 331 notes ca.1941
2 Classical Mechanics 1941
3 Course notes 1941-1942
4 Mass Spectroscopy 1941
5 Mathematics 247 - Differential Equations 1941-1942
71 Vector Analysis ca. 1941
2 Nuclear Physics 1941
3 Kinetic Theory of Gases 1941
4 Discharge of Electricity in Gases 1941
5 Electronics & Electric Waves 1941
81 Cosmic Rays 1941
2 Electrodynamics 1 1941
3 Quantum Mechanics 1 1941
4 Quantum Mechanics II & III 1941-1942
91 Quantum Mechanics III 1942
2 Electrodynamics II 1942
3 Summary for PHD exam 1942
4 Course notes 1942
5 Course notes 1942
6 Research dine at the National Research Labratories 1944-1945

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101 Henry E. Duckworth publications 1942-1966
2 Teaching notes Physics 5 1947-1949
3 Physics 22 Lab notes 1946
4 Scott Labratory notes 1949
5 Physics II Labratoty notes 1950
6 Physics term tests 1951-1954
7 Course notes 1955
111 Request for reprints 1961
2 Mass Spectroscopy notes 1962-1963
3 Course notes 1963
4 Physics 264 exams 1964-1965
5 Reprint costs 1967-1968
6 Requests for reprints 1971-1974

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121 Reservations forms reply cards & registration 1967
2 Atomic Mass Conference letters & forms 1967
3 Atomic Mass Conference program 1967
4 Honorary Degree recipients Jesse William Munroe & Josef Heinrich Elizabeth Mattauch at Special Convocation 1967
5 Program 1967
131 Conference mailing lists 1967
2 Atomic Mass Conference correspondence 1967
3 Conference finances 1967-1968

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141 Union Internationale De Physique Pure et Applique (IUPAP) correspondence 1957-1963
2 Union Internationale correspondence 1961-1966
3 International Atomic Energy 1961
4 Discussion on Nuclear Chemistry Fission & other Low Energy Nuclear Processes - Oxford meeting 1962
5 Union Internationale meeting minutes 1962-1963
151 IUPAP Vienna Conference correspondence 1963
2 IUPAP Vienna Conference 1963
3 Canadian Journals of Research 1964-1965
4 Royal Society meeting in Vancouver 1965
5 National Research Council 1965
6 Committee for Management of Patents - McMaster University 1965
7 National Research Council - Review Committee for Postdoctorate Fellowships in Meteorology 1965
8 Canadian Associations of Physicists Awards Committee 1969-1970
161 Communications Technology satellite 1973
2 Communications Technology satellite 1973

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11 2 photos of Ernest Rutherford & 1 of J.J. Thomson ca. 1910
2 3 photos & 3 diagrams from an American Institure of Physics article 1957
3 2 Group photos with names of the participants at the International Conference on Masses in Winnipeg 1967
4 30 drawings by Duckworth's son Henry W. Duckworth to accompany 'Little Men in the Unseen World" A Guide to Atomic Physics 1963

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