Spitzer, Lyman, Jr.
BornToledo, Ohio, USA, 26 June 1914
DiedPrinceton, New Jersey, USA, 31 March 1997
American astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr. made major contributions to our understanding of diffuse gases, especially the interstellar medium, and was among the first to strongly urge the construction of a large optical telescope in space. He was the son of Blanche C. and Lyman Spitzer, and married Doreen Canaday in 1940.
Lyman Spitzer was educated at Phillips Academy (Andover), Yale University (BA: 1935), Cambridge University (where he attended informal lectures by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar at Trinity College), and Princeton University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1938 for work with Henry Norris Russell on the analysis of spectra of cool supergiant stars. Spitzer held a National Research Council Fellowship at Harvard (1938/1939), where Harlow Shapley, Donald Menzel, Bart Bok, and Martin Schwarzschildwere particularly influential. He was an instructor at Yale (1939–1942), before moving to war work...
- Smith, Robert W. (1989). The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Spitzer Jr., Lyman (1952). Interstellar Matter. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Observatory. (A set of notes prepared by John B. Rogerson from lectures by Spitzer.)Google Scholar
- — (1962). Physics of Fully Ionized Gases. 2nd rev. ed. New York: Interscience.Google Scholar
- — (1968). Diffuse Matter in Space. New York: Interscience.Google Scholar
- — (1978). Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium. New York: Wiley-Interscience.Google Scholar
- — (1982). Searching between the Stars. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1987). Dynamical Evolution of Globular Clusters. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1989). “Dreams, Stars, and Electrons.” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 27: 1–17.Google Scholar
- Spitzer Jr., Lyman and J. P. Ostriker (eds.) (1997). Dreams, Stars, and Electrons: Selected Writings of Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. (Ostriker was Spitzer’s successor as Princeton Observatory director and department chair.)Google Scholar