Theodore H. Geballe

Theodore Henry Geballe (born 20 January 1920) is an American physicist who is an emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University. He is known for his work on the synthesis of novel materials of interest to several areas of physics and many interdisciplinary sciences.

Theodore Henry Geballe
Born (1920-01-20) January 20, 1920 (age 100)[1]
Other namesTed Geballe
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Known forThermodynamics of semiconductors, High temperature superconductivity.
AwardsOliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1970)
Scientific career
FieldsCondensed matter physics
Materials science
InstitutionsStanford University
Bell Labs
Doctoral advisorWilliam Giauque


Theodore Geballe was born and brought up in a Jewish family in San Francisco, California.[2] His grandfather left the Province of Posen in Prussia to move to the United States in about 1870. He attended the Galileo High School in San Francisco, graduating in 1937.[2] Geballe then travelled across San Francisco Bay to attend college at the University of California, Berkeley.[2] While still an undergraduate student at Berkeley, Geballe worked in William Giauque's lab to accurately measure the specific heat of gold.[2]

In 1941, Geballe was called to active duty as an Army Ordnance Officer during the Second World War. Geballe served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines and was responsible for maintaining guns.

After the war, Geballe returned to Berkeley as a graduate student of Giauque, receiving his PhD in chemistry in 1949 - the same year that Giauque won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1952, he moved to Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey. While at Bell labs, he worked on studying transport properties in semiconductors at very low temperatures, and also on studying properties of unconventional superconductors. In 1967, Geballe joined Stanford University as a professor in the newly founded Department of Applied Physics as well as the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Geballe was involved in research in the then-upcoming field of multilayered heterostructure materials.

Geballe served as the head of the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford from 1975-1977, and was the director of the Center for Materials Research from 1978-1988.

In January 2020, Geballe's 100th birthday was marked by a celebratory conference.[3]

Awards and honoursEdit

Geballe, along with Bernd Matthias won the 1970 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize awarded by the American Physical Society "for experiments that challenged theoretical understanding and opened up the technology of high-field superconductors." Geballe also won the 1991 von Hippel award by the Materials Research Society, and was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1973.[4]

In 1989, he received the Bernd T. Matthias Prize.

In 2000, the new Laboratory for Advanced Materials at Stanford was named "The Theodore H. Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials" in his honor.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Geballe was married to Frances Koshland (1921–2019)[6], daughter of Daniel E. Koshland Sr. and granddaughter of Abraham Haas.[7] They have six children: Gordon Theodore Geballe, Alison Frances Geballe, Adam Phillip Geballe, Monica Ruth Geballe, Jennifer Corinne Geballe and Ernest Henry Geballe.[8] He has 16 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.


  1. ^ "Array of contemporary American physicists". American Physical Society. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Geballe, Theodore H. (1 April 2013). "Why I Haven't Retired". Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics. 4 (1): 1–21. Bibcode:2013ARCMP...4....1G. doi:10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-030212-184246.
  3. ^ Geballe's 100th birthday celebrations
  4. ^ "Senior Fellows - Theodore H. Geballe". California Council on Science and Technology. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  5. ^ Levy, Dawn. "New advanced materials laboratory dedicated in Geballe's honor". Stanford University. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  6. ^ Frances Geballe obituary
  7. ^ "CISAC faculty member appointed to endowed chair". Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation. February 4, 2005. The Theodore and Frances Geballe Professorhip was established in 1990 through gifts from Professor Theodore Geballe, an internationally recognized physicist, and his wife, Frances Koshland Geballe, a member of one of San Francisco's pioneer families.
  8. ^ "Daniel E. Koshland, Sr. (1892-1979)". Butler Koshland Fellowships. Retrieved September 17, 2018.

External linksEdit