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Cohen, Marshall Harris (Astronomer)



  • Existence: 1926 - 2222


Background: Caltech Professor of Astronomy 1968-1995 (Emeritus 1995- ); Visiting Professor, 1965; Executive Officer for Astronomy, 1981-1985.


Description: Marshall Harris Cohen was born in New Hampshire and graduated from high school in Baltimore. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in physics from Ohio State University. He continued to work at Ohio State in the Antenna Laboratory until 1954, when he accepted an appointment to Cornell in electrical engineering. As an early participant in the new field of radio astronomy, Cohen was associated with the founders of the discipline in England, Australia and in the US. While at Cornell he was closely involved in the building and operating of the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico. After a brief appointment at the University of California, San Diego, from 1966 to 1968, Cohen moved permanently to Caltech as professor of radio astronomy. He was involved in all aspects of Caltech's radio astronomy program, which included the building of the first interferometer in the US in the Owens Valley; the establishment of a program in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI); and proposals for the contruction of a Very Large Array (VLA). In 1971 he was awarded the Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contributions to the development of VLBI.


Collection Notes: Oral History 1996-1997 and 1999. A 158-page account, including a supplement on Cohen's postdocs, with interviewer Shelley Erwin. The interview covers in detail the early history and development of radio astronomy in the US and globally.

Papers, 1954-1985. The papers are roughly processed. They include substantial material on early VLBI experiments, including those conducted in 1969-1970 between American and Soviet scientists.

Collection size: 11 boxes, 5.5 linear feet.

Inventory available in the Archives.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Marshall Cohen

 File — Box Z8: Series II
Identifier: Z08
Scope and Contents

Contains material on VLBI and the Aricebo 1000-ft. dish.

Dates: 19th century to present

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 4
Archival Object 3
Astronomy 5
Radio Astronomy 2
Radio astronomy 2
Alumni Day 1
Historical File 1
∨ more