The Lawrence C. Biedenharn Endowed Chair in Physics


Lawrence C. Biedenharn

The Lawrence C. Biedenharn Chair in Physics was established with a gift by Sarah Biedenharn to honor her husband's contributions to theoretical physics.

Larry Biedenharn was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His undergraduate studies at MIT were interrupted by World War II. Returning to MIT in 1946, he concentrated on theoretical nuclear physics, receiving his Ph.D. in 1949 under Victor Weisskopf. After leaving MIT, Prof. Biedenharn spent two years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He taught at Yale, Rice, and Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Professor.

After his important research on Coulomb excitation of nuclei, Professor Biedenharn brought his formidable mathematical talent to bear on the role of symmetry groups in quantum physics, and in 1989 he published a widely cited paper about the quantum group SU(2)-q in which he introduced the q-analog of the algebra of boson operators.

Larry Biedenharn was known as a man of erudition and manifold interests which penetrated virtually every aspect of human life. At the time of his death, Professor Biedenharn was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin