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Leon Madansky papers

Identifier: MS-0416

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of material dating from 1941 to 1997 and includes student notebooks, reports, correspondence, subject files, and article reprints. The collection deals primarily with Madansky's scientific work and collaborations with prominent physicists George Owen and F. Rasetti. There is very little personal information within the collection with the exception of some correspondence in series 3.


  • Creation: 1941-1997


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Leon Madansky was born on January 11, 1923 in New York, New York. After attending Liberty High School in Liberty, New York, he was accepted at the University of Michigan and graduated with a B.S. in physics in 1942. Madansky stayed on at Michigan to attend graduate school, receiving a Masters of Science degree in physics in 1944 and a PhD in physics in 1948.

On June 8, 1947, Madansky married Rena Ada Goldstein. They had two children; Deborah Leah Madansky (March 29, 1949) and Charles Hertz Madansky (February 21, 1951).

Prior to completing graduate school, Madansky held an academic assistantship in Infared Spectroscopy from 1940-1942 and a Research Assistantship from 1942-1943 in a National Defense Research Committee war project under the direction of Professor O.S. Duffendack and E.F. Barker. From 1944-1945 he was commissioned as a US Navy Ensign, doing research in millimeter wave radiation at the Naval Research Laboratory. He worked under Professor Marcellus Wiedenback in the field of nuclear isomerism from 1946-1948. After leaving the University of Michigan, Madansky was appointed an instructor in the physics department of the Johns Hopkins University.

Madansky would remain with Hopkins for the rest of his career. He was named Assistant Professor in 1949, Associate Professor in 1952, Professor of Physics in 1958 and Chairman of the Physics Department in 1965. Madansky served as Chairman until 1968, and it was during this time that he expanded the department to include the astrophysics group, changing the department to Physics and Astronomy.

Madansky specialized in nuclear, particle and condensed matter physics, but he was also an expert in general physics. He collaborated with George Owen and France Rasetti among others and spent time at other research facilities, including Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab, CERN, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

Madansky was given Professor Emeritus status by Hopkins in 1998. He held the position for two years until his death in 2000. He died suddenly of a heart ailment on March 18th while vacationing in London.


3.07 Cubic Feet (2 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box, 1 letter half-size document box)

Language of Materials



Leon Madansky (1923-2000) was a Johns Hopkins University professor of Physics. This collection consists of material dating from 1941 to 1997 and includes student notebooks, reports, correspondence, subject files, and article reprints.


This collection consists of four series: Student Notebooks; Reports; Correspondence, Administration, Grants and Proposals; Reprints.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was transferred from the Physics and Astronomy department.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Holly Callahan in October 2002.

Leon Madansky papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA