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Neugebauer, Gerry (Physicist)



  • Existence: 1932 - 2014


Background: Caltech Professor of Physics, 1962-1998; Palomar Observatory, Acting Director, 1980-1981, Director, 1981-1994; Chairman, Division of Physics, Math and Astronomy, 1988-1993; PhD, physics, 1960; Professor Emeritus, 1998-.


Description: GERRY NEUGEBAUER was born in Göttingen, Germany, in 1932, the son of Otto Neugebauer. After moving to the United States at age seven he received his AB degree from Cornell University in 1954 and his PhD in physics from Caltech in 1960. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1962 as an assistant professor, becoming a full professor of physics in 1970. He served as the director of the Palomar Observatory from 1980, and he was named Howard Hughes Professor in 1985. Neugebauer is internationally recognized as a pioneer in infrared astronomy, and has played a leading role in infrared studies of the planets. In addition-and largely through his activities with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IRAS)-he has led both ground- and space-based infrared studies of the stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies. Observations by him and his colleagues at Mount Wilson and Palomar observatories have revealed hundreds of new infrared sources in the sky, and afforded the first infrared view of the galactic center. He also played a major role in the design and construction of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Among Neugebauer's numerous awards are two NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medals (1972, 1984), the 1985 Space Science Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the 1985 Richmyer Lecture Award, and the 1986 Rumford Medal. He was named California Scientist of the Year for 1986 by the Californian Museum of Science and Industry, and he has been elected to the National Academy of the Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Astronomical Society.


Collection Notes: Oral history 1991: This short, 27-page interview with Timothy Moy covers the early history and development of the Keck I (100-meter) telescope. It includes a small amount of biographical material.

Papers: 21 file boxes boxes containing principally notebooks, photographic slides, course notes, material from the LIGO project and papers from the Palomar and Keck observatories. The LIGO material is closed until 2015.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Board Of Trustees Meeting--Fall 1990

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1990-00154

Interview with Gerry Neugebauer

 Digital Record
Identifier: 2018-09-10-000003

Interview with Gerry Neugebauer, 1991-07-15 - 1991-07-16, 1994

Scope and Contents An interview in two sessions, July 1991, with Gerry Neugebauer, Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Physics in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy (PMA). Received his PhD in physics from Caltech (1960) and joined the faculty in 1962 as assistant professor. Lead scientist on IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite), launched in 1983; director of Palomar Observatory 1980-1984; PMA division chair 1988-1993. Discusses his role in construction of Keck I, the first of W. M. Keck...
Dates: 1991-07-15 - 1991-07-16; Publication: 1994

IRAS Satellite:New Look At The Sky

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1986-00481

Papers of Gerry Neugebauer

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2002-00403

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 3
Archival Object 3
Digital Record 1
Physics 4
Astronomy 3
Keck 2
Palomar Observatory 2
W. M. Keck Observatory 2