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J. Rud Nielsen papers and slides

Identifier: HOS-2019-002

Scope and Contents

Physics professor. Correspondence, publications, and research materials from the life and career of University of Oklahoma physics professor J. Rud Nielsen. The papers focus on his research files, his publications, and collected works by other authors. The research files include his work on early volumes of Niels Bohr’s Collected Works; his research on molecular structure using Raman spectroscopy; reports of grant and contract projects for the Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; and materials for physics courses taught at OU. Other materials document OU Physics Department events such as Niels Bohr’s visits to the Norman campus for public lectures. The collection also includes 1,041 glass slides depicting research results and physics principles; and printing blocks of graphics for articles in the Journal of the Optical Society of America and the Journal of Chemical Physics.


  • 1861 - 1988

Language of Material

English, Danish, and German.

Restrictions on Access

Open for public research.

Biographical / Historical

Jens Rud Nielsen was born in 1894 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1919 where he studied under Niels Bohr. He immigrated to the United States in 1922, and earned a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. In 1924 he was recruited to join the faculty at the University of Oklahoma Department of Physics. He taught theoretical physics courses and established an extensive research program at OU. In 1931 Nielsen was the first faculty member to be awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, which he used to study in Copenhagen with Niels Bohr. Nielsen’s career at OU spanned 41 years. During this time he conducted research for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, helped organize the OU Research Institute, and edited the early volumes of Niels Bohr’s Collected Works. Upon his retirement in 1965 OU named the physics building Nielsen Hall in his honor, and in 1971 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Nielsen was married to Gertrude Siegmund, and had three children: John, Thomas, and Mary. He died in 1979 in Norman, Oklahoma.


25 Cubic Feet (47 document cases, 2 cubic foot boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 14 slide boxes)

Local Note

Additional materials related to the J. Rud Nielsen Papers and Slides are cataloged and available in the History of Science Collections.

Dewayna York
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

Repository Details

Part of the History of Science Collections Repository

401 West Brooks Street, Room 521NW
Norman OK 73019 United States