First Teller professor appointed in the US
Jun 25, 1999
Edward Teller, the so-called father of the hydrogen bomb, is to have a professorship named in his honour at the University of California at Davis. The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation is to give $1 million to fund the chair in the department of applied science, which Teller established in 1963. "Edward Teller's genius has produced monumental contributions to physics," said Larry Vanderhoef, chancellor of UC Davis. "This professorship constitutes an honour that will, above all else and in perpetuity, remind us of that genius and those contributions." The first Edward Teller Professor will be Richard Freeman, the physicist who currently holds the chair of applied science at the university.
The department has close links with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, also in California, which Teller played a key role in establishing in the early 1950s. The applied science department at Davis was created when Teller realized that Livermore scientists had no experience of translating basic research to practical applications.
Although Teller, who turned 91 in January, officially retired from the University of California and the Livermore laboratory in 1975, he still divides his time between the laboratory, where he is director emeritus, and Stanford University's Hoover Institution, where he is a senior research fellow.