Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Yellow Pages:

Pondrom, Walter:

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Walter E. Millett Papers, 1923-1928, 1946-2003



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Millett, Walter E.
Title: Walter E. Millett Papers
Dates: 1923-1928, 1946-2003
Abstract: Papers of Walter Elmer Millett (1917-2003), professor of physics at the University of Texas for over 35 years. In his retirement Millett frequently worked on a problem regarding the creation of a photon model, which his family termed his "Yellow Pages" because of his prolific use of yellow legal tablets. The Millett papers are primarily comprised of these "Yellow Pages," which in addition to his work on the photon model problem, also contain a number of personal papers, including correspondence, articles, and students' dissertations.
Accession No.: 2004-126
Extent: 10 ft.
Laguage: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Walter Elmer Millett was born in East Moline, Illinois on July 26, 1917. He received both a BS (1940) and an MS (1942) in physics and mathematics from the University of Florida. He then worked at the MIT Radiation Laboratory for the next three and a half years, where he researched improvements in the resolution of radar systems. After World War II, Millett pursued graduate study in physics at Harvard University, receiving his PhD in 1949. Following an Atomic Energy Commission Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cal Tech, he returned to the University of Florida as a lecturer in 1950, becoming an assistant professor in 1951.

In 1952, Millett became an assistant professor in the University of Texas physics department where he researched positron annihilation, pioneering the use of this technique to determine the momentum distributions of electrons in both solids and liquids. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1957, spent the summer of 1960 performing positron annihilation studies at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, and was promoted to professor in 1962. Millett was appointed professor emeritus in 1987, following a five-year period of modified service.

Millett's research spawned over fourteen MA and fifteen PhD students. Later in his academic career, he shared a laboratory with Professor Arthur Lockenvitz, with whom he participated in photon experiments. In his retirement he frequently worked on a problem regarding the creation of a photon model, which his family termed his "Yellow Pages" because of his prolific use of yellow legal tablets. Toward the last year of his life, he felt he was close to making these papers publishable.

Millett enjoyed growing flowers and hiked two miles daily. He married twice, first to Barbara Twigg in 1944 and then to Ethel Grant Long in 1972, both of whom preceded him in death.

At the age of 86 Millett suffered a stroke and died on August 24, 2003. A portion of his estate was dedicated as the Walter E. Millett Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship in Physics.

Source: http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2003-2004/memorials/millett/millett.html

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Scope and Contents

The Millett papers are primarily comprised of his "Yellow Pages," which in addition to his work on the photon model problem, also contain a number of personal papers, including correspondence, articles, and students' dissertations. The "Old," "Old Age," "Middle Age," and "Most Recent" designations were made by Millett's survivors and adhered to for sake of consistency. The general date ranges were determined during processing to be as follows:

  • "Old": late 1920s to 1970s and undated
  • "Old Age": 1960s to 1980s (primarily 1970s)
  • "Middle Age": mid-1980s to mid-1990s, some 2000-2003
  • "Most Recent": 1995-2003, some 1970s and 1980s

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

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Index Terms

Millett, Walter E.
University of Texas at Austin Dept. of Physics
Physics--Study and teaching (higher)--United States
Physicists

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Millett (Walter E.) Papers, 1923-1928, 1946-2003, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Yellow Pages:

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2004-126/1 "Old":
German reprints with notes, 1923
Arthur E. Lockenvitz, notebook of mathematical notes, 1928 and undated
Physics 44, Prof. J.S. Schwinger, 1946
B.M. Cromack III, Masters Thesis [signed by Millett and Lockenvitz], 1970
Oversized graphs and tables, architectural plan for physics remodeling in RLM, 1982 and undated
General
"Old Age"
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2004-126/2 "Old Age"
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2004-126/3 "Old Age"
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2004-126/4 "Old Age"
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2004-126/5 "Old Age"
"Middle Age"
Personal
General
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2004-126/6 "Middle Age"
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2004-126/7 "Middle Age"
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2004-126/8 "Middle Age"
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2004-126/9 "Middle Age"
"Most Recent"
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2004-126/10 "Most Recent"

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Pondrom, Walter:

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2004-126/10 Dissertation notes, [1951]
Dissertation

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