Frederick Seitz

American physicist

Frederick Seitz (July 4, 1911March 2, 2008) was an American physicist and a pioneer of solid state physics. Seitz studied under Eugene Wigner at Princeton University, graduating in 1934. He, along with Wigner, came up with the concept of the Wigner-Seitz unit cell used in the study of crystalline properties of materials. Seitz was president of the United States National Academy of Sciences (1962–1969).

Things that people learn purely out of curiosity can have a revolutionary effect on human affairs.


  • The trouble is that you won't get the scientists to agree on a course of action. It is almost instinctive in science to accept contrary views, because disagreeing gives you guidance to experimental tests of ideas — your own and those offered by others….
    • Explaining his opinion on why "the most beneficial kinds of research won't get done because the most politically attractive research will get the funding instead", in an interview for the George C. Marshall Institute, (3 September 1997)
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