Colloquium: "The First 250 Years of Physics and Astronomy at Penn"

Paul Heiney (University of Pennsylvania Emeritus)
- | DRL A4
Paul Heiney

The histories of physics and astronomy at Penn will be presented primarily through the lives of prominent individuals, culminating in the 1994 merger of the Physics and Astronomy Departments.  We will meet David Rittenhouse, who observed the transit of Venus in 1769, Charles Doolittle, whose remarkable beard would freeze to his telescope on cold nights, Arthur Goodspeed, who failed through inattention to discover X-rays, Gaylord Harnwell, who transformed first the Physics Department and then the entire university, and Raymond Davis, who discovered a mystery in the middle of the sun.  The two disciplines had little in common through most of Penn’s history, but were brought together by a combination of financial and intellectual factors, especially neutrino physics and astronomy.