Theodore Lyman IV

Theodore Lyman IV (/ˈlmən/; November 23, 1874 – October 11, 1954) was a U.S. physicist and spectroscopist, born in Boston. He graduated from Harvard in 1897, from which he also received his Ph.D. in 1900.

Theodore Lyman
Born(1874-11-23)November 23, 1874
DiedOctober 11, 1954(1954-10-11) (aged 79)
Alma materHarvard University
AwardsElliott Cresson Medal (1931)
Scientific career


Lyman became an assistant professor in physics at Harvard, where he remained, becoming full professor in 1917, and where he was also director of the Jefferson Physical Laboratory (1908–17). He made important studies in phenomena connected with diffraction gratings, on the wavelengths of vacuum ultraviolet light discovered by Victor Schumann and also on the properties of light of extremely short wavelength, on all of which he contributed valuable papers to the literature of physics in the proceedings of scientific societies.

Military service

During World War I he served in France with the American Expeditionary Force, holding the rank of major of engineers.



He became a hereditary member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States in succession to his father, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Lyman III.


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature Feature Information
  • 1931 Frederic Ives Medal
Academic offices
Preceded by
Wallace Clement Sabine
Hollis Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
Succeeded by
Percy Williams Bridgman
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