James L. Smith is an American physicist who worked for forty years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Smith was born in Detroit in 1943. After attending Detroit public schools, Smith studied at Wayne State University, graduating with a B.S. in Physics in 1965. He continued his studies at Brown University, receiving his Ph.D. in Physics in 1974.
Smith started working for Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1973 as part of the Physical Metallurgy Group. Over his forty-year career at Los Alamos, Smith worked on low-temperature physics, superconductivity, magnetism, and actinide materials. Specifically, Smith studied the relationship between superconductivity and magnetism and helped pioneer the field of heavy fermion superconductivity. Over the course of his career, Smith authored over 400 papers.
In 1982, Smith became a Laboratory Fellow at Los Alamos. He retired in 2013, and currently serves on the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s Advisory Committee.
For more information on Jim Smith, see the tribute to his work in Philosophical Magazine.