Samuel Silver

Samuel Silver
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Associated organizations
University of California at Berkeley
Fields of study
Antennas, Atmospheric physics


Samuel Silver (IRE Member, 1946; Senior Member, 1950; and Fellow, 1954) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 25 February 1915. He received the B.A. and M.A. degrees in physics, in 1935 and 1937, respectively, from Temple University, Philadelphia; and the Ph.D. degree in physics, in 1940, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Following one year as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Mendenhall Laboratory of Physics at Ohio State University, Columbus, Silver joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, where, as Instructor and Assistant Professor of Physics, he served until 1943. During that period, he conducted research on molecular structures. Silver then joined the Radiation Laboratory at M.I.T. as a staff member in the Antenna Group where he carried on research on theory of microwave antennas and networks.

In 1946, Silver joined the newly-formed Antenna Research Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C. as head of a basic research group. He moved to the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of California at Berkeley, in 1947, and was made Professor of Electrical Engineering, in 1950, and subsequently, Professor of Engineering Science. Silver spent the year 1953-1954 at the Royal Technical University of Denmark and the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, under a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1956, he was appointed Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory of the Electrical Engineering Department, where he developed the research program on microwave antennas and applied electromagnetic theory and related areas of microwave electronics, Silver was appointed Director of the Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California, on 1 January 1960. He used a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1960-1961 to conduct research in upper atmospheric physics. He continued in this field and, in 1962, he was engaged in upper atmosphere studies and solar phenomena in the microwave region.

Silver was Chairman of the International Commission VI (Radio Waves and Circuits, 1953-1960, and served as Secretary of the USA National Committee of URSI, in 1962. he was a Fellow of the IRE and the American Physical Society and a member of the American Geophysical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi.