George B. Field

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George B. Field
George B. Field (1987)
Born (1929-10-25) October 25, 1929 (age 91)

George B. Field (born on October 25, 1929 in Providence, Rhode Island) is an American astrophysicist.

Education and career[edit]

Field became interested in astronomy at an early age, but at the urging of his father he studied chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Disliking engineering, he later switched to astrophysics. After MIT he attended the graduate school at Princeton University.

Field worked on plasma oscillations and later became interested in cosmology.[1] In 1973 he became the founding director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, an innovative organizational structure that unified the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (a government agency) and the Harvard College Observatory (a private institution) under a single management. Field served as director until 1982, when he was succeeded by Irwin I. Shapiro.

In the early 1980s Field chaired an influential National Academy of Science decadal study that recommended priorities for U.S. astronomical research.[2]

Among his doctoral students were Eric G. Blackman, Sean M. Carroll, Carl E. Heiles, and Christopher McKee.



  1. ^ : Interview with Dr. George Field by Dr. Richard Hirsh At Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts July 14, 1980. Niels Bohr Library and Archives.
  2. ^ Book review, Astronomy from Space: Sputnik to Space Telescope, edited by James Cornell and Paul Gorenstein, April 1985, The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-53061-9.
  3. ^ "Recipients of the Karl Schwarzschild Medal". Archived from the original on 17 May 2019.

External links[edit]