Who is Feza Gürsey?

Feza Gürsey, was born in İstanbul in 1921. He was the son of the chemist Remziye Hisar, one of the first female students to study in Darülfûnun, and the military physician and physicist Ahmet Reşit Gürsey. Gürsey, who had a multi-faceted personality thanks to the importance placed by his family on education and art, completed his education at the Galatasaray High School in 1940, and graduated from the Mathematics-Physics Department of İstanbul University in 1944. Completing his doctorate at Imperial College in England, Gürsey made quite an impact in the scientific world with his work on the application of quaternions to field theory, and this work became the foundation of Gürsey's subsequent work. Gürsey returned to İstanbul University as a physics assistant in 1951, and married Suha Pamir, who was also working as a physics assistant in the same department.

Feza Gürsey is one of the two names that formed the basis of the Chair of Theoretical Physics at İstanbul University between 1954 and 1961. In the meantime, he continued to conduct research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and Columbia University. Over the course of these scientific endeavors, he met Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli, J. R. Oppenheimer, who was responsible for the research on the atomic bomb, and other Nobel Prize winning physicists E. Wigner, T. D. Lee and C. N. Yang. He established the Department of Theoretical Physics at ODTÜ in 1961. He pioneered the advancement of the space-time symmetry studies by uncovering the chiral symmetry principle, and did research in the field of quantum chromodynamics. Gürsey brought together a very successful research team at ODTÜ, and in 1974 he became the chairman of Yale University. Gürsey made significant contributions to the theoretical physics discussions and received many awards (1969 Tubitak Award, 1977 J. R. Oppenheimer Memorial Prize with S. Glashow, A. Cressy Morrison Prize in Natural Science with R. Griffiths, 1979 Albert Einstein Medal). He passed away in the US in 1992.

What is included in the collection?

The Feza Gürsey Archive contains Gürsey's correspondence with international universities, mathematics and physics institutions, leading names in the scientific world (Frank and Robert Oppenheimer, Wolfgang and Franca Pauli, Erdal and Sevinç İnönü, Aziz and Ali Nesin) and his official correspondence with the Prime Ministry, Minister/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TÜBİTAK and NATO. Gürsey's poetry, essays, drawings, articles, lecture notes, Feza and Suha Gürsey's diaries, and Remziye Hisar's poems, diaries and family albums are also included in the archive.