During 1953-1954 he is a Lecturer at Harvard University. 

Except for three years of schooling in Oakland, he is educated in the public schools of Los Angeles.

His graduate work in theoretical physics at the same university leads to the Ph.D. degree in 1938. His thesis research on the electromagnetic properties of nuclear systems is directed by Professor J.R. Oppenheimer.

He goes to Columbia University as Instructor in Physics in 1938 and later becomes Professor in 1948. 

In 1939 he marries Ursula Schaefer, a student from Germany. After her death he marries Bruria Kaufman in 1996.

He teaches as a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford.

In 1962 he becomes a Professor of Physics at Yale University.

In 1930 he enters the University of California at Berkeley and receives a B.S. in Chemistry in 1934. 

In 1974, he is appointed Professor of Physics and Optics at the University of Tucson, Arizona. His research has been on the interactions of neutrons and matter, nuclear structure, beta decay, cosmic rays, interactions in molecules and the fine structure of hydrogen, deuterium and helium. He becomes Emeritus in 2002.

Willis Lamb is awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Polycarp Kusch. He receives the prize "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum". Lamb and Kusch were able to precisely determine certain electromagnetic properties of the electron (“Lamb Shift”). His studies offer a basis for refining quantum electrodynamics.

From 1943 to 1951, he is associated also with the Columbia Radiation Laboratory where he does the research that leads to the Nobel Prize.

Willis Lamb dies in Tucson.

He then works at Stanford University as a Professor of Physics. 

Willis Eugene Lamb is born in Los Angeles. His father Willis Eugene Lamb, born in Minnesota, was by profession a telephone engineer and his mother Marie Helen Metcalf came from Nebraska.