James D. Livingston

  • Senior Lecturer Emeritus
  • BEP Engineering Physics, Cornell, 1952
  • PhD Applied Physics, Harvard, 1956
James D. Livingston


In the past, Prof. Livingston has performed research on ferromagnetic, superconducting, and mechanical properties of metals and alloys. He is now primarily occupied with teaching and writing. Arsenic and Clam Chowder is Prof. Livingston's latest book, the recounting of a sensational murder trial in Gilded Age New York. The trial took place in a city moving through great societal and political change, including the institution of the electric chair, the proliferation of the automobile, and the attempts to address political corruption in City Hall.

Prof. Livingston is the author of a series of songs and poems, written to go along with the 3.10 textbook— the subject which evolved into 3.024. (At the Wulff lecture a few years ago, the audience sang one of the songs.) All his songs and poems have been saved from complete obscurity by Walter Smith of Haverford, who recently put them on physicssongs.org, which you might want to consult if you ever feel a need to sing about Ohm's Law, ferromagnetism, k-space, or other topics seldom put to music.

Prof. Livingston and his wife, Sherry H. Penney, co-authored A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women's Rights, a history of an activist and abolitionist, who happens to be Prof. Livingston's great-grandmother. See Tech Talk for more about the book which reveals that Martha Wright was outspoken, sensible, perceptive, and witty.