Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Christy, Robert F.

  • Benjamin Wilson
Reference work entry

BornVancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 14 May 1916

DiedPasadena, California, USA, 3 October 2012

Manhattan Project physicist and originator of a key design improvement for implosion-type atomic weapons Robert Christy later used sophisticated computational techniques to advance understanding of the physical dynamics of variable stars. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Christy received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of British Columbia in 1935 and 1937, after which he took up doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, in the renowned theoretical physics group of  Robert Oppenheimer. At Berkeley Christy wrote papers in nuclear physics, investigating the spin properties of “mesotrons” (later commonly known as “mesons”), the mediating particles of the forces that hold the atomic nucleus together. In 1941, after finishing his doctorate and accepting a junior faculty position at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Christy was...

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Selected References

  1. Christy, R.F. “The calculation of stellar pulsation.” Reviews of Modern Physics 36 (1964): 555–571.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Christy, R.F. “A study of pulsation in RR Lyrae models.” Astrophysical Journal 144 (1966): 108–179.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Christy, Robert F. Interview by Sara Lippincott. Pasadena, California, June 15, 17, 21, and 22, 1994. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved 9 August 2012 from the World Wide Web:
  4. Eddington, A.S. “The pulsation theory of Cepheid variables.” The Observatory 40 (1917): 290–293.ADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Hoddeson, Lillian, Paul W. Henriksen, Roger A. Meade, and Catherine Westfall. Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943–1945. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hoddeson, Lilian. “Mission change in the large laboratory: The Los Alamos implosion program, 1943–1945.” in Big Science: The Growth of Large-Scale Research. Editors Peter Galison and Bruce Hevly, 265–289. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  7. “Presidential address on the award of the Eddington Medal to Professor R.F. Christy.” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 8 (1967): 129.Google Scholar
  8. Williams, Thomas R. “Variable star astronomy.” in History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. Editor John Lankford, 553–556. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA