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Interview with Donald E. Osterbrock

Osterbrock, Donald E. (2004) Interview with Donald E. Osterbrock. [Oral History]

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In this brief interview, the American astronomer Donald Osterbrock, who died on January 11, 2007, offers recollections of Enrico Fermi and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in the early 1950s at the University of Chicago. He recalls the atmosphere at Yerkes Observatory, where he got his PhD (1952); his postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton (1952-1953); and the five years he spent at Caltech, first as an instructor (1953-1955) and then as an assistant professor (1955-1958). At Caltech, he worked on gaseous nebulae. He recalls that work and comments on Jesse Greenstein's style as head of the astronomy department. He discusses his various colleagues affiliated with the Carnegie Observatories on Santa Barbara Street in Pasadena, including Walter Baade, Rudolph Minkowski, Armin Deutsch and Maarten Schmidt; his Caltech colleagues Guido Münch, Art Code, and Fritz Zwicky; his two graduate students, George Abell and John Mathis; his decision to leave Caltech in 1958 and help Art Code develop a graduate program in astronomy at the University of Wisconsin.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Astronomy; astrophysics
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Osterbrock_D
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Official Citation:Osterbrock, Donald E. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, February 10, 2003. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:All Records
Subjects > Astronomy
ID Code:141
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:15 Nov 2007
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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