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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
Elected in 1968
“For technical contributions to solid-state engineering and nuclear reactors;leadership in national technological decisions.”
BY JOHN HOLDREN AND VENKATESH NARAYANAMURTI
HARVEY BROOKS, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Emeritus, in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University died of natural causes at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 28, 2004. He was 88 years old and is survived by his wife Helen and their four children, Alice, Katharine, Kingsley, and Rosalind, and by two grandchildren.
Harvey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5, 1915. He graduated from Yale in 1937 in mathematics and studied physics as a Henry Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, England, and at Harvard, where he got his Ph.D. in 1940 under the direction of Nobel Laureate John Van Vleck. He was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1940–1942 and a staff member in the Harvard underwater sound laboratory from 1941 to 1945. He joined General Electric in 1946 and served there as Associate Head of the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
In 1950 Harvard established the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics with Van Vleck as its first Dean. Van Vleck in turn invited Harvey back to Harvard as Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in 1950. At Van Vleck’s retirement, Brooks succeeded him as Dean in 1957 and served in that post until 1975. During this period, Harvey made several notable contributions to the fundamental theory of semiconductors and the