Geoffrey Ronald Burbidge
24 September 1925
|Died||26 January 2010(aged 84)|
|Alma mater||University of Bristol|
University of London
Geoffrey Ronald Burbidge FRS (24 September 1925 – 26 January 2010) was an English astronomy professor and theoretical astrophysicist, most recently at the University of California, San Diego. He was married to astrophysicist Margaret Burbidge.
Early life and education
Burbidge was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, a small market town in the Cotswolds roughly midway between Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon, where he attended grammar school. His father, also Geoffrey Ronald Burbidge, was a builder.
He first attended the University of Bristol to study history, but changed to physics, receiving his degree in 1946. In 1947, he went to London and received his Ph.D. from University College London (UCL) in 1951. While at UCL he worked with Professor H. S. W. Massey who was then head of the department of mathematics.
Career and research
With his wife Margaret Burbidge he worked at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Cambridge, before Margaret obtained work at the California Institute of Technology, while Geoffrey worked at the Mount Wilson Observatory and Palomar Observatory. They both obtained positions at the University of California, San Diego, in 1962. He was the Director of Kitt Peak National Observatory from 1978 to 1984.
In collaboration with American physicist William Fowler and British astronomer Fred Hoyle, he and his wife were co-authors of Synthesis of the Elements in Stars, a fundamental paper on stellar nucleosynthesis published in 1957. It is commonly referred to as the B2FH paper after the initials of the surnames of the four authors. This paper describes the process of stars burning lighter elements into successively heavier atoms which then are expelled to form other structures in the universe, including other stars and planets.
According to Burbidge, the universe is oscillatory and as such, expands and contracts periodically over infinite time. This theory, due to its controversial nature, has brought a certain amount of fame (or even notoriety) to Burbidge.
Awards and honours
- Warner Prize, with his wife (1959)
- Bruce Medal (1999)
- Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (2005)
- NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing of the National Academy of Sciences (2007)
- The Asteroid 11753 Geoffburbidge is named after him
- Longair, Malcolm; Rees, Martin (2017). "Geoffrey Ronald Burbidge. 24 September 1925 — 26 January 2010". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0002. ISSN 0080-4606.
- "Geoffrey Burbidge personal page". ucsd.edu.
- "Geoffrey Burbidge". The Telegraph - Obituaries. Telegraph Media Group. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Burbidge, Geoffrey (2007). "An Accidental Career". Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 45 (1): 1–41. Bibcode:2007ARA&A..45....1B. doi:10.1146/annurev.astro.45.051806.110552. ISSN 0066-4146.
- Dennis Overbye (6 February 2010). "Geoffrey Burbidge, Who Traced Life to Stardust, Is Dead at 84". New York Times.
- Richard Panek (22 November 2005). "Two Against the Big Bang". Discover magazine.
- "Grants, Prizes, and Awards". American Astronomical Society. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010.
- "The Bruce Medallists: Geoffrey Burbidge". Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "Academy honors 18 for major contributions to science". 17 January 2007.
- Childs, Martin (24 April 2010). "Geoffrey Burbidge: Astrophysicist notorious for his rejection of the Big Bang theory". The Independent - Obituaries. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Geoffrey Burbidge|
- Bruce Medal page
- Editor of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics from 1974 to 2004
- Oral History interview transcript with Geoffrey Burbidge 15 November 1974, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives
- Los Angeles Times obituary
- Geoffrey Burbidge - Daily Telegraph obituary