Jeremy Bernstein (born 31 December 1929 in Rochester, New York) is an American theoretical physicist and science essayist.
Bernstein's parents, Philip S. Bernstein, a Reform rabbi, and Sophie Rubin Bernstein named him after the biblical Jeremiah, the subject of his father's masters thesis. Philip's parents were immigrants from Lithuania, while Sophie was of Russian-Jewish descent. The family moved from Rochester to New York City during World War II, when his father became head of all the Jewish chaplains in the armed forces.
Education and career
Bernstein studied at Harvard University, receiving his bachelor degree in 1951, masters in 1953, and Ph.D. in 1955, on electromagnetic properties of deuterium, under Julian Schwinger. As a theoretical physicist, he worked on elementary particle physics and cosmology. A summer spent in Los Alamos led to a position at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1962 he became a faculty member at New York University, moving to became a professor of physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1967, a position that he continues to hold as Professor Emeritus. He has held adjunct or visiting positions at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, CERN, Oxford, the University of Islamabad, and the Ecole Polytechnique.
He was also involved in Project Orion, investigating the potential for nuclear pulse propulsion for use in space travel.
Bernstein is best known for his popular science writing and profiles of scientists. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker from 1961 to 1995 and authored many dozens of articles. He has also written regularly for The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Review of Books, and Scientific American, among others. His books include "Physicists on Wall Street and Other Essays on Science and Society" (2010), "Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know" (2010), "Quantum Leaps" (2009), "Hitler's Uranium Club: The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall" (2000), "In the Himalayas: Journeys through Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan" (1996), and others, more than 15 books in all. "The Life It Brings", an autobiographical memoir, was published in 1986. Bernstein's biographical profiles of physicists, including Robert Oppenheimer, Hans Bethe, Albert Einstein and others, are able to draw on the experiences of personal acquaintance.
- Jeremy Bernstein, Personal History, “I-THE LIFE IT BRINGS,” The New Yorker, January 26, 1987, p. 35
- Jeremy Bernstein, Personal History, “II-THE LIFE IT BRINGS,” The New Yorker, February 2, 1987, p. 39
- "Jeremy Bernstein," Encyclopedia Britannica
- "Jeremy Bernstein (member bio)" at Edge.org
- The New Yorker, Search:Jeremy Bernstein