ⓘ Edwin Ernest Salpeter


ⓘ Edwin Ernest Salpeter

Born in Vienna to a Jewish family, Salpeter emigrated from Austria to Australia while in his teens to escape the Nazis. He attended Sydney Boys High School 1939–40 and Sydney University, where he obtained his bachelors degree in 1944 and his masters degree in 1945. In the same year he was awarded an overseas scholarship and attended the University of Birmingham, England, where he earned his doctorate in 1948 under the supervision of Sir Rudolf Peierls. He spent the remainder of his career at Cornell University, where he was the James Gilbert White Distinguished Professor of the Physical Sciences. Salpeter died of leukemia at his home in Ithaca, New York on November 26, 2008.


1. Scientific contributions

In 1951 Salpeter suggested that stars could burn helium-4 into carbon-12 with the Triple-alpha process not directly, but through an intermediate metastable state of beryllium-8, which helped to explain the carbon production in stars. He later derived the initial mass function for the formation rates of stars of different mass in the Galaxy.

Salpeter wrote with Hans Bethe two articles in 1951 which introduced the equation bearing their names, the Bethe–Salpeter equation which describes the interactions between a pair of fundamental particles under a quantum field theory.

In 1955 he found the Salpeter function or the initial mass function IMF. It shows that the number of stars in each mass range decreases rapidly with increasing mass.

In 1964 Salpeter and independently Yakov B. Zeldovich were the first to suggest that accretion discs around massive black holes are responsible for the huge amounts of energy radiated by quasars which are the brightest active galactic nuclei. This is currently the most accepted explanation for the physical origin of active galactic nuclei and the associated extragalactic relativistic jets.


2. Family

In 1950 he married Miriam Mika Mark 1929–2000, a neurobiologist born in Riga, Latvia; she was chairwoman of the department of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell from 1982 to 1988. The Society for Neuroscience created the Mika Salpeter award in her memory; it "recognizes an individual with outstanding career achievements in neuroscience who has also significantly promoted the professional advancement of women in neuroscience." The Salpeters had two daughters, Judy Salpeter and Dr. Shelley Salpeter.


3. Honors

  • Hans Bethe Prize 1999
  • Henry Norris Russell Lectureship 1974
  • Karl Schwarzschild Medal 1985
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize 1974
  • Carnegie Institution for Science Award for Research in Astrophysics 1959
  • Crafoord Prize with Fred Hoyle 1997
  • Bruce Medal 1987
  • Dirac Medal 1996
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 1973
  • derived by Hans Bethe and Edwin Salpeter Salpeter process, a process of nuclear fusion mathematically defined by Edwin Salpeter Salpeter initial mass function
  • means to study the neuromuscular junction. Salpeter collaborated with her husband, Edwin Ernest Salpeter on the interactions between nerves and muscle
  • Carleson Richard R. Ernst Jean - Marie Lehn Motoo Kimura 1924 1994 Edwin Ernest Salpeter d. 2008 Fellowship of the Royal Society 1660 2015 London: Royal
  • Abdus Salam 1972 Robert Serber 1973 Steven Weinberg 1974 Edwin Ernest Salpeter 1975 Nicholas Kemmer 1976 Yoichiro Nambu 1977 Feza Gursey
  • foundation of much of what we know about nuclear structure. 1999 Edwin Ernest Salpeter For wide - ranging contributions to nuclear and atomic physics and
  • C. Wilson 1985 Thomas G. Cowling 1986 Fred L. Whipple 1987 Edwin E. Salpeter 1988 John G. Bolton 1989 Adriaan Blaauw 1990 Charlotte E. Moore
  • giant stars. However, this achievement is often overlooked because Edwin Salpeter s paper on the same subject had already been published by the time Opik s
  • relativity see also Tests of special relativity Giuseppe Cocconi and Edwin Ernest Salpeter 1958 theorized that inertia depends on the surrounding masses
  • to indicate a nuclear power installation. Akhlesh Lakhtakia Ed. Salpeter Edwin Ε. 1996 Models and Modelers of Hydrogen American Journal of Physics
  • from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. Edwin Salpeter The Guardian. 4 February 2009. Archived from the original on 17 November
  • Technology. Greenwood Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978 - 1 - 57356 - 336 - 9. Salpeter Edwin E. 1996 Lakhtakia, Akhlesh ed. Models and Modelers of Hydrogen