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

Condon, Edward Uhler

  • Richard P. WildsEmail author
Reference work entry

BornAlamogordo, New Mexico, USA, 2 March 1902

DiedBoulder, Colorado, USA, 26 March 1974

Edward Condon was one of the twentieth century’s leaders in the field of quantum mechanics, involved in the development of the first atomic bomb, and asked to make a detailed, scientific, study of Unidentified Flying Objects [UFOs] due to his unimpeachable standing among scientists. Astronomers most often cite his work with R. W. Gurney on barrier penetration for the β-decay of Uranium, which showed, by implication, that fusion of hydrogen to helium could be achieved at stellar temperatures.

Condon was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico. His father, William Edward Condon, was a construction supervisor of railroads and later a journalist in Oakland, California. His mother was Carolyn Uhler Condon. Edward Condon’s son also was a physicist. Edward was raised a Quaker.

Condon worked 3 years in Oakland as a journalist, married Emilie Honzig, and obtained his A. B. and Ph.D. from the University of California,...

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Selected References

  1. Bird, Kai and Martin J. Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. (NY: Knopf, 2005).Google Scholar
  2. Clark, Jerome, The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial. (Visible Ink, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. Dick, Steven J., The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science. (NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. Morse, Philip M., Edward Uhler Condon 1902 – 1974 A Biographical Memoir. National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C., 1976.Google Scholar
  5. Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, Secrecy: The American Experience. (Yale University Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  6. Sagan, Carl, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. (NY: Ballantine Books, 1996).Google Scholar
  7. Wang, Jessica, “Science, Security, and the Cold War: The Case of E. U. Condon,” Isis, vol. 83, no. 2 (June 1992).Google Scholar
  8. Wheeler, John Archibald, Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics. (NY: W.W. Norton, 1998).zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Astronomical SocietyLawrenceUSA