While a high school student in Fort Leavenworth, Norman Ramsey develops an interest in science and he wins a scholarship to the University of Kansas. However due to the transfer of his father to Governor's Island, New York, Ramsey enters instead Columbia University.
Norman Ramsey is born in Washington, D.C., to Norman F. Ramsey, an officer in the Army Ordnance Corps and Minnie Bauer, a mathematics instructor at the University of Kansas. Due to his father's work Ramsey relocates several times during his youth. Ramsey is a gifted student and he benefits from the family’s relocation as he is twice advanced a grade when he enrolls in a new school.
Norman Ramsey dies at 96 in Wayland, Massachusetts.
Norman Ramsey enters the MIT Radiation Laboratory. Here he heads the group developing radar at 3 cm wavelength.
Norman Ramsey is Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago.
Norman Ramsey receives one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Hans G. Dehmelt and Wolfgang Paul "for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks".
Norman Ramsey is Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.
Norman Ramsey goes to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to work on the Manhattan Project.
Norman Ramsey receives a Kellett Fellowship to Cambridge University, England and he enrols there as a physics undergraduate. During his stay he is influenced by the great and very active environment of the Cavendish Laboratory. While here, Ramsey writes an essay for his tutor that stimulates his interest in molecular beams. After obtaining his second bachelor's degree, he returns to Columbia.
Norman Ramsey enters Columbia University to study engineering when he is only 16. Soon he realises that he wants a deeper understanding of nature. He switches to mathematics and obtains his bachelor in 1935. He wins yearly mathematics contests and therefore he is honoured in his senior year by being given the mathematics teaching assistantship, normally reserved for graduate students.
Norman Ramsey takes a position at the University of Illinois until he is called, because of the World War II, to work on radar at the MIT.
Norman Ramsey is Research Fellow at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado.
Although Norman Ramsey becomes Emeritus in 1986, he remains active in physics making theoretical calculations in his office at Harvard.
Norman Ramsey serves as Brookhaven's first head of the Physics Department.
Upset by the difficulty in obtaining uniform magnetic fields, in 1949 Ramsey invents the separated oscillatory field method which obtains the desired accuracy by sending the atoms through two separate oscillating electromagnetic fields. In the following years, with his student Daniel Kleppner, Ramsey creates the atomic hydrogen maser, a microwave-emitting relative of the laser, which could measure hyperfine separations and convert it to a clock of remarkable stability.
Norman Ramsey returns to Columbia University as a Professor and Research Scientist. In 1945 Ramsey and Rabi formulate the idea for a national laboratory in the East, the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.
Norman Ramsey joins Harvard University where he establishes an active research program in molecular beam physics, particle physics, and neutron-beam physics. He becomes Higgins Professor of Physics in 1966 and Professor Emeritus in 1986. While at Harvard Ramsey invents the separated oscillatory field method and he uses it overall to study the diatomic molecules of the hydrogen. He builds also a separated oscillatory fields electric resonance apparatus and uses it to study polar molecules.
Norman Ramsey marries Elinor Jameson of Brooklyn, New York.
Norman Ramsey joins I.I. Rabi's molecular beam group at Columbia University. During these years Rabi invents the molecular beam magnetic resonance method and Ramsey is the first graduate student to work with him and his associates in the new field of magnetic resonance and to share in the discovery of the deuteron quadrupole moment. In 1940 Ramsey receives his Ph.D. for his studies of the rotational magnetic moments of molecules.