Ezra T. Newman

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Ezra T. Newman
Born (1929-10-17) October 17, 1929 (age 87)
Bronx, New York
Nationality American
Fields General relativity
Institutions University of Pittsburgh
Alma mater The Bronx H.S. of Science, 1947
New York University, B.A. 1951
Syracuse University, Ph.D. 1956
Doctoral advisor Peter Bergmann
Known for Newman–Penrose formalism
Contributors to general relativity

Ezra Ted Newman (born October 17, 1929) is an American physicist, known for his many contributions to general relativity theory. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. Newman was awarded the 2011 Einstein Prize from the American Physical Society:

For outstanding contributions to theoretical relativity, including the Newman–Penrose formalism, Kerr–Newman solution, Heaven, and null foliation theory. For his intellectual passion, generosity and honesty, which have inspired and represented a model for generations of relativists.

Early life[edit]

Newman was born in the Bronx, New York City. He showed an early interest in science, pondering magnets, match flames, and science books.[1] He was admitted to the Bronx High School of Science, where he excelled at physics. Ted's father hoped that he would follow him into dentistry, but instead Ted enrolled at NYU to further his study of physics.

Career in physics[edit]

Newman was a prominent contributor to the golden age of general relativity (roughly 1960-1975). In 1962, together with Roger Penrose, he introduced the powerful Newman–Penrose formalism for working with spinorial quantities in general relativity. In 1963, Newman and two coworkers discovered the NUT vacuum, an exact vacuum solution to the Einstein field equation which has become a famous "counterexample to everything". In 1965, he discovered the Kerr–Newman electrovacuum, one of the best known of all exact solutions. Some of his most interesting recent work has involved the problem of reconstructing the gravitational field within some region from observations of how optical images are lensed as light rays pass through the region. An email he forwarded to John C. Baez help to touch off the Bogdanov Affair.


His son, David E. Newman, is currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and his daughter, Dara Newman, is currently Parent Education Director at Families First Missoula following a career in quantitative genetics and conservation biology.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Paul Basken. "Chronicle of Higher Education", February 13, 2011.

External links[edit]