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Moti Lal Rustgi papers

 Collection — Box: 1-43
Identifier: 20-4F-976

Scope and Contents

The personal and professional papers of Moti Lal Rustgi contain materials relevant to his collaboration with Gregory Breit, his prodigious pedagogical and research efforts, his publications, and the research of his graduate students. Materials include notes, notebooks, correspondence, graduate theses, computer printouts, computer disks, and postage stamps.


  • 1952-1992


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The bulk of the Moti Lal Rustgi Papers are open for research.

Some materials were photocopied for preservation and the originals maintained for exhibition purposes. Use copies of these materials are retained in their original location. The originals were removed to boxes 38-40; removals are noted in folder listing.


Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Moti Lal Rustgi, Professor in Physics and expert on photodisintegration theory, was born in Delhi, India, on September 29, 1929. He graduated with honors from Delhi University with a Bachelor of Science at the age of 20, an achievement followed two years later with the awarding of his master's degree in physics, also from Delhi University. Rustgi pursued doctoral studies at Stanford University and later at Louisiana State University, where he earned his doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics. In 1957 he completed his dissertation, Photodisintegration of the Lightest Nuclei, and left Louisiana for Yale University to spend three years as a research associate under Gregory Breit, the renowned physicist who rose to prominence during World War Two for his work on the Manhattan Project and his groundbreaking research on weaponry.

In 1960, Rustgi began a postdoctoral fellowship divided between the National Resource Council in Ottawa, Canada and Harvard University. After completing his fellowship Rustgi returned to India, working as a reader in physics at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. Rustgi returned to the United States in 1963 when he assumed the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. A year later, he was hired by Yale University as an Assistant Professor; two years later he departed Yale to assume the position of Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo. Breit joined him in Buffalo in 1968 and they continued their collaboration. Rustgi was made Full Professor that same year, a position he would hold for twenty-four years. At University at Buffalo, Rustgi taught courses such as Freshman Physics, Electromagnetic Fields, Quantum Mechanics, Nuclear Theory, Statistical Mechanics, and Classical Electrodynamics. Twice Rustgi held visiting appointments, at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in 1973 and 1980, respectively.

Rustgi was a prolific researcher in the fields of medical, nuclear, atomic, and solid-state physics, with 145 articles in scholarly journals and three papers published in different conference proceedings to his name. From 1951 to 1953 he served as a Fellow of the India Atomic Energy Commission at Delhi University. Rustgi funded his varied research interests though a number of grants from the State University of New York Research Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Twice he held NASA / American Society for Engineering Education summer fellowships. Rustgi gave numerous presentations and invited talks at international conferences. At the University at Buffalo, Rustgi was an active participant in the department, serving on numerous committees and directing graduate studies for the department. Rustgi was also instrumental in founding the concentration in medical physics still available to master's students in the department. Outside of the academy, Rustgi helped establish the Western New York Hindu Culture Society. For his contributions to the field of Physics, Rustgi was made Fellow of the American Physical Society. In addition, he was listed in the sixth edition of Who's Who in the World as well as numerous editions of Who's Who in America and American Men and Women of Science. He passed away on November 16, 1992 at the age of 63.


18 Linear Feet (32 manuscript boxes, 8 half manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 clamshell box)


The personal and professional papers of nuclear physicist and State University of New York at Buffalo physics professor, Moti Lal Rustgi.


This collection is divided into ten series: I. Collaboration with Breit, II. Conferences, III. Correspondence, IV. Departmental Activity, V. Lecture Notes, VI. Personal, VII. Publications, VIII. Research, IX. Theses and Dissertations, and X. Miscellaneous.

Acquisition Information

Dr. Anil K. Rustgi, Moti Lal Rustgi's son, donated the Moti Lal Rustgi papers to the University Archives in September, 2003. His donation accompanied a generous endowment which will support the Archives' efforts to process science faculty papers. The collection's accession number was 03-719.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources in Other Repositories

  1. Yale University Archives. MS 1465. Gregory Breit Papers, 1929-1980

Separated Materials

One offprint of each of M.L. Rustgi's articles is encased in Boxes 41-42. Duplicates were discarded.

The books in Rustgi's personal library that the University Archives received with his collection of papers were added to the circulating collection of the University's Science and Engineering Library.

Processing Information

Processed by Kerry Fender, March 2005.


Finding Aid for the Moti Lal Rustgi papers
Finding aid prepared by Kerry Fender.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)