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Rudolph Minkowski

AKA Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski

Born: 28-May-1895
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: 4-Jan-1976
Location of death: Berkeley, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Galaxies in collision

Military service: German Army (WWI, 1914-18)

Astrophysicist Rudolph Minkowski identified and interpreted cosmic radio sources, headed a project to photograph the entire Northern Sky in the 1950s, and worked with Walter Baade to catalogue supernovae. In 1952 his work established that galaxies can collide, and eight years later, on the last night before his retirement from Mount Wilson Observatory in 1960, he used a 200-inch telescope to photograph the collision of two galaxies an estimated 4.8-billion light years from Earth. At the time this was the most distant event ever observed by humanity, and it remained a record until 1976, although present-day equipment can easily view cosmic events from much greater distances. Minkowski's father was pathologist Oskar Minkowski, and his uncle was mathematician Hermann Minkowski.

Father: Oskar Minkowski (physician-researcher)
Mother: Marie Johanna Siegel Minkowski (m. 1894)
Sister: Laure Minkowski
Wife: Luise David Minkowski (m. 23-Aug-1926, d. 1978)
Daughter: Eva Minkowski Thomas
Son: Herman Minkowski

    High School: Breslau Gymnasium, Wroclaw, Poland
    University: PhD Physics, University of Wroclaw (1921)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Wroclaw (1921-22)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Göttingen (1922)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Hamburg (1922-35)
    Scholar: Mt. Wilson Observatory (1935-60)
    Professor: Astrophysics, University of California at Berkeley (1960-76)

    Bruce Medal 1961
    National Academy of Sciences
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Lunar Crater Minkowski (named for Minkowski and his uncle, Hermann Minkowski)
    Asteroid Namesake 11770 Rudominkowski
    German Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry


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