The papers of physicist Rose Le Dieu Mooney Slater (1902-1981) include 10.5 linear feet of correspondence, research and print material that document Mooney-Slater’s career as a professor, department chair, research physicist and accomplished crystallographer; concentrating on the structure of crystals and crystalline materials using X-ray diffraction.
Another ½ linear foot of the collection consists of diaries she kept from 1917-1954 that provide a picture of what mattered to her both personally and professionally over 37 years. The reader follows her career as a young scientist receiving a Guggenheim scholarship to study in Amsterdam, only to have the appointment abruptly cut short due to the start of World War II. Through her diary for 1939, we learn that she reluctantly booked a return passage to the United States as others were scrambling to leave Europe in a hurry. On September 1, 1939, she wrote, "Now that war is declared, I must go, I suppose. It is bitter to see my beautiful plans go glimmering." Upon her return from Amsterdam, she worked at M.I.T. in John Slater’s new X-ray lab.
Dr. Mooney-Slater received her BS at Newcomb College (Tulane University) in 1926, MS at Tulane University (1929), and PhD from the University of Chicago (1932), where she worked under Will Zachariasen. She worked at the Metallurgical Laboratory under the auspices of the Manhattan District at the University of Chicago, was appointed chair of the physics department at Newcomb College in 1941, and when Newcomb College and Tulane University combined their science programs, was appointed chair of the new co-ed physics department (1948-1952). Dr. Mooney-Slater was a senior physicist for the National Bureau of Standards (1952-1956), and a research physicist at M.I.T. (1956-1966).
Some of the papers were damaged or destroyed by fire and water as the result of a collision when the collection was moved from Massachusetts to Florida in 1966. The APS also has the papers of her husband, physicist John Slater.
The Rose Mooney Slater Papers were processed by Tracey deJong using a grant from the American Institute of Physics.