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The Tolman/Bacher House
Richard Chace Tolman (1881-1948) arrived at Caltech in 1922 to join the faculty as Professor of Physical Chemistry and Mathematical Physics. He commissioned the house to be built, originally just two blocks north of campus, and lived there with his wife, Ruth Sherman Tolman, until his death in 1948.
Ruth Sherman Tolman (1893-1957) was a prominent clinical psychologist and the first woman elected to the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She married Richard Tolman in 1924 and lived in the Tolman/Bacher House until her death in 1957.
Robert Fox Bacher (1905-2004) lived in the house with his wife, Jean Dow Bacher, from 1957 to 1988. The Bachers moved to Pasadena in 1949 when Robert became chairman of the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy.
Jean Dow Bacher (1907-1994)
a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, married Robert Bacher in 1930. She was an advocate for nuclear disarmament throughout her life.
Richard and Ruth Tolman
Jean and Robert Bacher
Robert A. Millikan (1868-1953) was an experimental physicist, Nobel laureate, and founding chairman of the Executive Council of Caltech.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967)
was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II, working closely with both Richard Tolman and Robert Bacher on the development of nuclear weapons.
Lee Alvin DuBridge (1901-1994) served as Caltech’s first President from 1949 to 1969.
Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves, Jr. (1896-1970) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers directed the Manhattan Project.
Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 along with Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger for their work on quantum electrodynamics. Robert Bacher convinced Feynman to accept a faculty appointment at Caltech in 1950.
Murray Gell-Mann (1929) is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969 for contributions to the classification of elementary particles and their reactions.
Robert F. Christy (1916-2012) worked closely with Robert Bacher on the Manhattan Project before moving to Caltech to join the Physics faculty. He took over as Provost from Bacher in 1970 and briefly served as Acting President in 1977.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a theoretical physicist and close friend and colleague of Richard Tolman. He was best known for developing the theory of relativity.
Edward C. Tolman (1886-1959) brother to Richard Tolman, was a distinguished psychologist and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He is best known for his work in behavioral psychology.
George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) was an American astronomer and founding director of Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains. He played a key role in the early development of Throop University, which became the California Institute of Technology in 1920.
Amos G. Throop (1811-1894) founded Throop University, which later became the California Institute of Technology, in 1891.
Gordon B. Kaufmann (1888-1949) designed the Athenaeum and South Undergraduate Houses at Caltech in the early 1930s. In 1936, Richard Tolman commissioned him to design the addition to the Tolman/Bacher House that became his study.
Harold Brown (1927) was the President of Caltech from 1970 to 1977, after which he served as the Secretary of Defense for President Jimmy Carter.
Hans A. Bethe (1906-2005) was a nuclear physicist, Nobel Laureate, and Professor of Physics at Cornell University. Shortly after Bethe moved to the United States, Robert Bacher left Columbia University to follow him and establish a high-energy physics laboratory.
Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953) was an observational cosmologist. He worked closely with theorist Richard Tolman, laying the groundwork for the theory of the expanding universe.
Arthur A. Noyes (1866-1936) was an eminent physical chemist and Richard Tolman’s graduate advisor at MIT. In 1919, he moved to California to help George E. Hale with the development of Caltech.