George Blumenthal

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George R. Blumenthal
Tenth Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz
In office
2006 – present
Personal details
Born 1945 (age 68–69)
Spouse(s) Kelly Weisberg
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
University of California, San Diego
Profession astrophysicist, astronomer, professor

George R. Blumenthal (born 1945) is an American astrophysicist, astronomer, professor, and academic administrator. He is the tenth chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Blumenthal was born to Lillian and Marcel Blumenthal, the owners of a small Venetian blinds operation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was interested in science at a very early age and recalls the launch of the Soviet Sputnik I satellite in 1957[citation needed]. Blumenthal holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, San Diego.

Blumenthal is known particularly for his work with Santa Cruz colleagues Sandra M. Faber and Joel Primack and with Martin Rees of Cambridge University on dark matter. Their theory of cold dark matter, developed in the 1980s, remains the standard explanation of the formation of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Blumenthal has also worked in many other areas of astrophysics, including the study of gamma-ray bursts, accretion disks, active galaxies, and the microwave background radiation left by the big bang[citation needed].

Blumenthal was the chair of the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate from 2001 to 2003 and served one year each as Vice Chair and Chair of the University of California Academic Senate. He succeeded Denice Denton as UCSC chancellor in 2006 after her suicide.

Personal life[edit]

Blumenthal is married to UC Hastings professor of law Kelly Weisberg, with whom he has two children, Aaron and Sarah. When asked about his family, he refers to all the UC students as his children.[citation needed]


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