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Lyman Spitzer

Born June 26, 1914(1914-06-26)
Toledo, Ohio, USA
Died March 31, 1997 (aged 82)
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Nationality American
Fields theoretical physicist
Alma mater Phillips Academy
Princeton University (Ph.D.)
Yale University (B.A.)

Lyman Strong Spitzer, Jr. (June 26, 1914 – March 31, 1997) was an American theoretical physicist and astronomer best known for his research in star formation and for his promotions of telescopes in space and research into plasma physics. A graduate of Phillips Academy, Princeton University, and Yale University, Spitzer is the namesake of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.



Spitzer died suddenly on March 31, 1997 after having completed a regular working day at Princeton University. He was survived by wife Doreen Canaday Spitzer, four children, and ten grandchildren. Among Spitzer's four children is neurobiologist, Nicholas C. Spitzer, who is currently the professor and vice chair in section of neurobiology at UC San Diego


Project Matterhorn was RPI's pioneering program in controlled thermonuclear research. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recommended (according to the declassified minutes of a meeting held on July 26, 1951) to grant him $50,000 to perform “research in the area in which Dr. Richter had claimed success.” See [1] [2] and article on the Huemul Project. Source: US DOE Archives, 326 US Atomic Energy Commission, Collection: AEC Meetings, Box: Minutes, Meeting No 582, 10:30 AM, Thursday, July 26, 1951.

The NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, is named after him. It studies the infrared sky from an Earth trailing orbit.



Named after him


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