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George Isaak

AKA George Richard Isaak

Born: 7-Mar-1933
Birthplace: Pilica, Poland
Died: 5-Jun-2005
Location of death: Birmingham, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronomer, Physicist

Nationality: Australia
Executive summary: Resonant scattering spectroscopy

Astrophysicist George Isaak was born in Poland, but fled with his family as the Nazis advanced, became an Australian citizen in his teens, spent most of his career in England, and taught in America after his retirement. He conducted experiments that factored out the movements of the Earth, and showed, as Albert Einstein had predicted, that the speed of light is constant. Building on this, he adapted Christian Doppler's famous Doppler effect on frequency and wavelength with resonant scattering spectroscopy to measure the movement of objects in distant space. Using his new methodology on the Sun, Isaak showed in 1979 that the photosphere (outer layer) of the sun pulses regularly, about every five minutes. He also showed otherwise undetectable variations in the orbits of stars and planets.

Wife: Umit Isaak (physicist, m. 1964, two daughters)
Daughter: Eryka Isaak (artist)
Daughter: Katherine Isaak ("Kate", astrophysicist)

    University: BS Physics, University of Melbourne (1954)
    University: MS Physics, University of Birmingham (1958)
    University: PhD Physics, University of Birmingham (1966)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Birmingham (1966-84)
    Professor: Physics, University of Birmingham (1984-96)
    Professor: Physics, University of Minnesota (1996-2005)

    Hughes Medal 1993
    Imperial Chemical Industries Chemist (1954-56)
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Naturalized Australian Citizen 1950
    German Ancestry
    Polish Ancestry


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