DeWitt, Bryce S. (Bryce Seligman), 1923-2004

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1923-01-08
Death 2004-09-23
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Bryce S. DeWitt (1923-2004) was known for his mathematical approach to physics and his work in quantum field theory, supermanifolds, gauge theory, and relativistic astrophysics. He received all three of his degrees in physics from Harvard University (Ph.D. 1950). DeWitt was a dedicated teacher and researcher; he held positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before beginning his professorship at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 1972. At UT, DeWitt served as the director of the Center for Relativity (1972-1987), Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor of Physics (1986-2000), and Professor Emeritus (2000-2004).

DeWitt’s awards include a Dirac medal from the Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Italy (1987), the Pomeranchuk Prize of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics in Moscow (2002), the Marcel Grossman Award (with Cécile DeWitt-Morette, 2002), the Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society (2005), and election to the National Academy of Sciences (1990) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002).

In 1973 DeWitt and his wife, Cécile DeWitt-Morette, led a scientific expedition to Mauritania to test Einstein’s general relativity theory of gravity during a total solar eclipse. A series of photographic plates were taken during the eclipse and compared with a set of plates taken six months later. Analysis of these photographs later proved that the stars had been pulled out of their original paths by the sun’s gravity, just as predicted in Einstein’s theory.

Sources: Vertical file and Office of Public Affairs files at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, including: http://www.utexas.edu/cons/news/dewitt2.html

From the guide to the Bryce S. DeWitt Papers 2005-006; 2006-071; 2006-109; 2010-056; 2010-232., 1919, 1946-2006, (Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Bryce S. DeWitt (1923-2004) was known for his mathematical approach to physics and his work in quantum field theory, supermanifolds, guage theory and relativistic astrophysics. DeWitt received all three of his degrees in physics from Harvard University (Ph. D. in 1950).

DeWitt was a dedicated teacher and researcher; he held positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before beginning his professorship at The University of Texas at Austin in 1972. At UT Austin, DeWitt served as the director of the Center for Relativity (1972-1987), Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor of Physics (1986-2000), and Professor Emeritus (2000-2004). In 1973 DeWitt and his wife, Cecile DeWitt-Morette, led a scientific expedition to Mauritania to test Einstein's general relativity theory of gravity during a total solar eclipe. A series of photographic plates were taken during the eclipse and compared with a set of plates taken six months later. Analysis of these photos later proved that the stars had been pulled out of their original paths by the sun's gravity, just as predicted in Einstein's theory.

From the description of DeWitt, Bryce S. Papers, 1950-2003. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 63791011

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63t9jwq
Ark ID:
w63t9jwq
SNAC ID:
67996785

Subjects:

  • Physics experiments
  • Solar eclipses--1973
  • Nuclear fission
  • Astronomical photography
  • Quantum gravity

Occupations:

  • Physicists
  • Physicists--Interviews

Places:

not available for this record