In 1947, Chodorow left Sperry for Stanford, where he joined the Physics Department as an assistant professor; he became an associate professor in 1950 and a professor in 1954. Beginning in 1954, he also held a professorship in the Department of Electrical Engineering. From 1959 to 1978, he directed the Microwave Laboratory (renamed the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory in 1976).
From 1962 to 1968, Chodorow was executive head of the Division of Applied Physics at Stanford. In 1968, at the instigation of Chodorow and Hugh Heffner, a separate Department of Applied Physics was created, with Chodorow as department chair; at the same time, he maintained his position as director of the Microwave Laboratory. In 1975, he became the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor of Applied Physics.
Chodorow was a major contributor to the development of the klystron tube, a device that generates and amplifies high-frequency electromagnetic waves. Klystron tubes are essential components for radar systems, particle accelerators, satellite communications systems, and many medical devices. In describing Professor Chodorow’s contribution, Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky, Director Emeritus of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and a close friend of Chodorow’s, said:
Marvin was the leading figure in transmitting the lore of klystrons [from Sperry] to the Stanford community. In doing this, he deserves most of the credit for the spectacular increase in klystron tube power, which was achieved during the 1940s, from watts to megawatts. He supervised Ph.D. students for about four decades, with most of the students still serving Stanford or the local industrial community. He was a person of enormous kindness, willing to help anyone who approached him for assistance. He is clearly one of the “godfathers” of the whole field of microwave technology at Stanford.
The main focus of Chodorow’s research was on the theory and design of microwave and traveling-wave tubes. His work led to the development of a series of devices crucial to the most sophisticated radar systems built in the United States and