Dr. Jesse W. Beams, retiring
professor of physics at the University
of Virginia and recipient last
year of the National Medal of
Science, will be honored by a
special symposium at the University
Distinguished scientists from
throughout the United States,
friends and former students of Dr.
Beams will hear talks on two fields
to which the University professor
has made noted contributions:
gravitation and ultracentrifugation.
Dr. Beams was cited for his
work with high speed centrifuges
when he was presented the National
Medal of Science by former President
Johnson at a special White
House ceremony a year ago. Spinning
more than one million times
each second, centrifuges designed
by Dr. Beams have been important
tools to biological and medical
science for protein and virus separation
and to nuclear engineering for
During World War II, Dr. Beams
worked with the Manhattan Project,
which employed the centrifuge
to successfully separate the uranium
As director of a three-year
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration project at the University,
Dr. Beams has been particularly
interested in experiments
testing gravitational theory. Dr.
Beams' University team conducts
experiments using two objects to
measure gravitational force with
extremely high precision.
At the symposium honoring Dr.
Beams, Dr. Richard H. Dicke, Cyrus
of the Physics department at
Princeton University, will deliver
the address on "Gravitation." Dr.
Dicke, who will speak on 10:15
a.m. in the chemistry building
auditorium is well known for his
experimental and observational
tests of Einstein's general theory of
At the afternoon
at 2:15 p.m. Dr. Howard K.
Schachman, professor of molecular
biology and biochemistry at the
Virus Laboratory of the University
of California at Berkeley, will
discuss "Ultracentrifugation: Present
and Future." An editor of
several scholarly journals and former
Guggenheim Fellow, Dr.
Schachman specializes in macromolecules
of biological interest,
Dr. Beams, who will retire on
June 30, received his Ph.D. from
the University in 1925 and joined
the faculty in 1928. A former
president of the American Physical
Society, Dr. Beams has been Francis
H. Smith Professor of Physics at
the University since 1953. After his
retirement he will continue research
as a senior research scholar in the
The program Saturday will include
a luncheon in honor of Dr.
Beams and tours of the physics
department. The symposium is
sponsored by the University department
of physics as part of the
University's 150th anniversary celebration.