John Torrence Tate, Senior was an American physicist noted for his editorship of Physical Review between 1926 and 1950.
Tate was born on 28 July 1889 in Lenox, Iowa.
He attended the University of Nebraska, studying electrical engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1910. Like many American students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in physics, he departed for Germany to further his studies, earning a Doctor of Philosophy under James Franck in 1914, with a dissertation on "The Heat of Vaporization of Metals." He returned to the University of Nebraska as a faculty member, where he stayed until 1916, when he was offered a post at the University of Minnesota.
He is the father of mathematician John Torrence Tate Junior.
He continued at the University of Nebraska, shifting his focus to physics and earning an Master of Arts in 1912. With the exception of brief sabbaticals to conduct war-related work, Tate remained at Minnesota for the following 34 years. Tate Laboratory of Physics at the University of Minnesota is named in his honor.
While a professor at the University of Minnesota, Tate presided over the growth of the Physical Review into a high impact journal.
. By 1930 or so, the relative standings of The Physical Review and Philosophical Magazine were interchanged." Alfred Nier and John Van Vleck credited the rapid growth of the journal"s size and influence in the 1920s to Tate"s sensitivity to the importance of the emerging quantum revolution, and in particular the rapidity with which he published papers relating to quantum phenomena.