Henry Norris Russell. Dean of american astronomers (Relié)

David-H DeVorkin

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  • Princeton University

  • Paru le : 27/09/2000
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Henry Norris Russell lived in two universes : that of his Presbyterian forebears and that of his science. Sharp-witted and animated by nervous energy, he became one of the most powerful voices in twentieth-century American astronomy, wielding that influence in calculated ways to redefine an entire science. He, more than any American of his generation, worked to turn an observation-centered discipline into a theory-driven pursuit centered on physics. Today professional and amateur astronomers alike know Russell for the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, the playing field for much of stellar astrophysics, as well as for his work on the evolution of stars and the origin of the solar system. But of far greater importance than his own research, which was truly remarkable in its own right, is Russell's stamp on the field as a whole. Functioning as a "headquarters scientist"- some called him General Russell was an astronomer without a telescope. Yet lie marshaled the data of the Hales and the Pickerings of the world, injected theory into mainstream astronomy, and brought atomic physics to its very core, often sparking controversy along the way. His students at Princeton went on to populate the most prestigious astronomical institutions in the United States, bringing with them Russell's beliefs that astronomy is really astrophysics and that researchers should be theoretically as well as empirically minded. This first-ever book-length biography of the "Dean of American Astronomers" interweaves personal and scientific history to illuminate how Russell's privileged Presbyterian family background, his education at Princeton and Cambridge, and his personal inclinations and attachments both served and were at odds with his campaign to modernize astronomy. This book will be of interest not only to astronomers and historians (particularly those interested in the emergence of astrophysics), but to anyone interested in the process of disciplinary change.
    • Religious heritage
    • Russell at Princeton
    • Graduate years : entering the profession
    • Postdoctoral years at Cambridge
    • Return to a new Princeton
    • Parallaxes pedagogy, and the Lives of the Stars : Russell's first years on the Princeton Faculty
    • Building a life at Princeton
    • Building a case for Giants
    • At the theoretical interface : defending his theory
    • Shifting Allegiance
    • The great war : transformations
    • Russell's turn to mount Wilson
    • Rationalizing stellar spectra
    • " A reconnaissance of new Territtory "
    • Princeton astronomy in the 1920s
    • Stellar evolution
    • Binary stars and the formation of the solar system
    • The royal road
    • A summer place : the Lowell observatory
    • Influencing institutions and the profession
    • Astronomical isolationism
    • Searching for a replacement
    • Russel's Universe.
  • Date de parution : 27/09/2000
  • Editeur : Princeton University
  • ISBN : 0-691-04918-1
  • EAN : 9780691049182
  • Présentation : Relié
  • Nb. de pages : 500 pages
  • Poids : 0.91 Kg
  • Dimensions : 16,5 cm × 24,0 cm × 3,8 cm

Biographie de David-H DeVorkin

David-H DeVorkin is Curator of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and is a former Chair of the History Division of the American Astronomical Society. He is author of " Science with a Vengeance : How the Military Created the US Space Sciences " after " World War II, Race to the Stratosphere ", and other books.

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Henry Norris Russell. Dean of american astronomers
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