Welcome to my web site!

I am Benjamin Bederson, husband of Betty, father of Joshua, Geoffrey, Aron and Ben, father-in-law of Isabelle Germano and Allison Druin, and grandfather of Lucia, Maria, Dana and Aviva.

I am Professor of Physics Emeritus, New York University and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, the American Physical Society. I am also former Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University and former Chair of the Physics Department. As with many superannuated practicing physicists I have become very interested in the history of physics, particularly modern physics, the activities of physicists during and after WWII, and ongoing developments in quantum mechanics. I am completing a three-year term as Chair of the APS Historic Sites Committeee.

Ben and Betty ca. 1979

For an article on my service in the Manhattan Project  at Los Alamos and the island of Tinian in the US Army during WWII published in the journal  Physics in Perspective, Birkhauser Verlag, Basil, edited by Roger Stuewer and John Rigden (Vol. 3, 52 (2001). see sed.pdf

For an article on the history of physics in New York City see nyc.pdf, published in Physics in Perspective (Vol.5, 87 (2003).

For an article about  Fritz Reiche and the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars published  in  Physics in Perspective (Vol.7, 453 (2005))  see FritzReiche.pdf   It contains   a copy of  a telegram sent to him on Nov. 14, 1938 by Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner as well as some other interesting material. For two letters which discuss, first, a proposal to Gregory Breit of NYU by Leo Szilard that American physics professors with income above a certain amount contribute a modest part of their salaries to aid in the resettlement of immigrant European scientists and, second, a lengthy letter  (1933) from a representative of the US State Department in response to an inquiry by Judge Joseph Meyer Proskauer (1877-1971) of the American Jewish Committee concerning  US visa policies with regard to Jewish refugee applicants, see Two Letters

 For more than you might want to know about my professional activities see the volume “Advances in Atomic , Molecular, and Optical Physics” Vol. 51, Academic Press 2005, Edited by Henry H. Stroke. For a brief Curriculum Vitae, without a list of publications (see above reference for a full list), see Resume.

For a book review of the recent biography of J Robert Oppenheimer by Abraham Pais, with  Robert P. Crease, J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life see  Pais

For a book review of the recent biography of J Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, “American Prometheus:The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” see Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin.


For a review of the  recent book by D. Hoffman and M. Walker, The German Physical Society in the Third Reich; Physicists between Autonomy and Accommodation, Translated by A. M. Hentschel, Cambridge (2012),  see Physics in Perspective  14, 458 (2012)