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Louis Planck Hammett papers, 1921-1986 

Creator: 
Hammett, Louis P (Louis Plack), 1894-1987
Phys. Desc: 
3 linear feet (3 linear feet 6 boxes 1 oversize folder)
Call Number: 
MS#0549
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Louis Planck Hammett, 1894-1987 (Ph.D. 1923, Columbia), professor at Columbia University, 1920-1961; Mitchell Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, 1961-1987. Hammett taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Quantitative Analysis, Physical Chemistry, and Physical Organic Chemistry. Hammett's chief research interests lay in the application of the quantitative methods of physical chemistry to the problems of theoretical organic chemistry.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, memorabilia, clippings, printed materials, and cassette tapes. Hammett's correspondence covers his retirement years, 1961-1986 and deals with translations and revised editions of his major works: Solutions of Electrolytes (1929), Physical Oraganic Chemistry (1940), and Introduction to the Study of Physical Chemistry (1952); congratulatory letters to Hammett upon his receiving various awards, including a letter from John F. Kennedy; congratulatory letters from Hammett to colleagues on their work; and correspondence with younger chemists about their research. Two letters from James B. Conant from 1947 constitute the only early correspondence. Manuscripts are comprised of Hammett's lectures and speeches given before meetings of scientists, 1961-1970; an oral history of Hammett by the American Institute of Physics (1978); papers given by various chemists at the Symposium on the History of Physical Organic Chemistry in 1983. There are also 10 cassette recordings of the above symposium. Subject files contain correspondence, documents, and clippings dealing with Hammett's professional associations, plus a file of clippings on nuclear disarmament. Printed materials are reprints of Hammett's articles from scientific journals, 1921-1966, including the 1937 article in which he first described his formula for determining chemical reaction rates, known as the "Hammett Equation." Memorabilia contains certificates, awards, and an honorary degree from Columbia University. Also included are Hammett's notes and manuscript for his 1970 book, Physical Organic Chemistry.