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Edwin E. Salpeter

AKA Edwin Ernest Salpeter

Born: 3-Dec-1924
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: 26-Nov-2008
Location of death: Ithaca, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronomer, Physicist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Quantitative electron microscopic autoradiography

Edwin E. Salpeter fled Austria with his family as a boy, and was raised in Australia, but his career as a physicist was in America. He theorized about a "triple-alpha" reaction that could convert helium to carbon in stars, and wrote about the formation of dust grains and molecules in the interstellar medium, and nuclear physics as a factor in stellar evolution. He studied under Rudolf Peierls and Martin Schwarzschild, and researched quantum electrodynamics and nuclear physics in collaboration with Hans Bethe, leading to their Bethe-Salpeter equation. With his wife, neurobiologist Miriam Mark Salpeter, and postdoctoral student Luis Bachmann, Salpeter developed quantitative electron microscopic autoradiography, a new method for detecting radiologic decay in tagged molecules. Both of his parents were physicists, and his father studied with Erwin Schrödinger.

Wife: Miriam Mark Salpeter (neurobiologist, b. 1929, m. 1950, d. 2000)
Daughter: Judy Salpeter
Daughter: Shelley Salpeter (physician)
Wife: Antonia Shouse Salpeter

    High School: Sydney Boys High School, Sydney, Australia (1940)
    University: BS Physics, University of Sydney (1944)
    University: MS Physics, University of Sydney (1946)
    University: PhD Physics, University of Birmingham (1948)
    Teacher: Physics, Cornell University (1948-57)
    Professor: Physics, Cornell University (1957-2008)

    Hans A. Bethe Prize 1999
    Crafoord Prize 1997 (with Fred Hoyle)
    Bruce Medal 1987
    Karl Schwarzschild Medal 1985
    Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal 1973
    American Astronomical Society
    American Physical Society
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    MoveOn.org
    Science Debate 2008
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Austrian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Asteroid Namesake 11757 Salpeter

Author of books:
Highlights of Modern Astrophysics: Concepts and Controversies (1986, with Stuart L. Shapiro and Saul A. Teukolsky)


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