Abraham H. Taub

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Abraham Taub
Abraham Taub.jpg
Born (1911-02-01)February 1, 1911
Died August 9, 1999(1999-08-09) (aged 88)
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University
Known for Taub Adiabat
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Doctoral advisor Howard P. Robertson
Doctoral students C. William Gear
Gene Golub

Abraham Haskel Taub (/tɔːb/; February 1, 1911 – August 9, 1999) was a distinguished American mathematician and physicist, well known for his important contributions to the early development of general relativity, as well as differential geometry and differential equations.


In a 1948 paper dealing with relativistic shock waves, Taub introduced a relativistic generalization of the Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions across a shock, which is now known as the Taub Adiabat. He also introduced the Taub–NUT space in general relativity.

Taub earned his doctorate at Princeton University in 1935, under the direction of the prominent relativist Howard P. Robertson. At Princeton, Taub was also influenced by Oswald Veblen.

In 1948, Abe Taub went to the University of Illinois as the chief mathematician associated with a project to build a computer based on von Neumann's plans. The computer, called ORDVAC, was completed in 1952 and delivered to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. A second copy of the computer, ILLIAC I, remained at Illinois and was the prototype for several other computers. Taub was head of the Digital Computer Laboratory at Illinois from 1961 until 1964, when he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, as director of the Computer Center (1964–68).


  • Mashhoon, Bahram. "In Memoriam: Abraham Haskel Taub". SIAM website. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  • Taub, A. H. (1991). "Interaction of dust clouds fronted by impulsive plane waves". J. Math. Phys. 32 (5): 1322. Bibcode:1991JMP....32.1322T. doi:10.1063/1.529332. 
  • Tipler, Frank, ed. (1980). Essays in general relativity : a festschrift for Abraham Taub. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-691380-3. 
  • Taub, A. H. (1980). "Space-times with distribution-valued curvature tensors". J. Math. Phys. 21 (6): 1423. Bibcode:1980JMP....21.1423T. doi:10.1063/1.524568. 
  • Taub, A. H. (1971). "Relativistic Hydrodynamics". In A. H. Taub. Studies in Applied Mathematics. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Mathematical Association of America. pp. 235–263. LCCN 74-168565. 
  • Taub, A. H. & Fernbach, S. (1970). Computers and their role in the physical sciences. New York: Gordon and Breach. ISBN 0-677-14030-4. 
  • Taub, A. H. (1951). "Empty space-times admitting a three parameter group of motions". Ann. Math. The Annals of Mathematics. 53 (3): 472–490. JSTOR 1969567. doi:10.2307/1969567. 
  • Taub, A. H. (1940). "The acceleration of the Dirac electron". In Ballantine, J. P. Six studies in mathematics. Seattle: University of Washington Press. LCCN 40-028366. 

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