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Robert Curtis Retherford (1912 – 1981) was an American physicist. He was a graduate student of Willis Lamb at Columbia Radiation Laboratory. Retherford and Lamb performed the famous experiment revealing Lamb shift in the fine structure of hydrogen, a decisive experimental step toward a new understanding of quantum electrodynamics.[1][2]

Robert Curtis Retherford
Born 1912
Died 1981
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Columbia University
Known for Lamb shift
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions Columbia University
Doctoral advisor Willis Lamb


  1. ^ Lamb, Jr, W. E.; Retherford, R. C. (1947). "Fine Structure of the Hydrogen Atom by a Microwave Method". Physical Review. 72: 241. Bibcode:1947PhRv...72..241R. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.72.241. 
  2. ^ Schweber, Silvan (1994). "Chapter 5". QED and the Men Who Did it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga. Princeton University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0691033273. 

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