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Alfred Otto Nier miscellany

Identifier: 2004-541-001

Scope and content

There is a nice selection of various materials relating to the book project and to Nier's career in general. The oral history of Alfred O. C. Nier includes an electronic version of the text in a now-obsolete (three 5" floppy disks) format.


  • Creation: 1989-2002


Language of Materials

Text in English.

Biographical sketch

Alfred Otto Nier was born in St. Paul, MN on May 28, 1911. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Electrical Engineering but turned to the study of mass spectrometry in graduate school. Nier did graduate work at Harvard University in the area of isotopic abundances, then returned to Minnesota. During World War II he contributed to the Manhattan Project designing spectrographs for the monitoring of uranium separations. After the war he returned to Minnesota. Among the projects he tackled in his later years was the design of miniature mass spectrometers to be placed on Viking Landers on their missions to Mars. He died on May 16, 1994 following an auto accident.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Ownership and Custodial History

Donated by Michael Grayson on behalf of ASMS.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--2002..

General Note

This is miscellaneous material (e-mails, reprints, matted photographs) relating to a book project on Alfred O.C. Nier and the history of mass spectrometry. There is also an oral history and a box of photographs related to the collection.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)