Giacconi, Riccardo

Giacconi, Riccardo,

1931–2018, Italian-American astrophysicist, b. Milan, Italy, Ph.D. Univ. of Milan 1954. He was a researcher at American Science and Engineering Corporation (1959–73), professor at Harvard (1973–81), director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Johns Hopkins (1981–92), director general of the European Southern Observatory in Germany (ESO; 1992–99), and president of Associated Universities, Inc. (1999–2004). A professor at Johns Hopkins from 1981, he became a university professor there in 1999. Giacconi was co-recipient, with Masatoshi KoshibaKoshiba, Masatoshi,
1926–2020, Japanese physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Rochester, 1955. He was a professor at the Univ. of Tokyo from 1958 (emeritus from 1987) and at the Univ. of Tokai from 1987 to 1997.
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 and Raymond DavisDavis, Raymond, Jr.,
1914–2006, American astrochemist, Ph.D. Yale Univ. 1942. Davis, who served in the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1946, was a researcher at Monsanto Chemical Company (1946–48) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (1948–84).
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, of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering contributions to astrophysics. Giacconi discovered X-ray sources outside the solar system, including background X-radiation and black holes; his discoveres and work on instruments that identified those discoveries laid the foundations for the field of X-ray astronomyX-ray astronomy,
study of celestial objects by means of the X rays they emit, in the wavelength range from 0.01 to 10 nanometers. X-ray astronomy dates to 1949 with the discovery that the sun emits X rays.
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. He also was involved in managing the Hubble Space Telescope, oversaw the development of the ESO's Very Large Telescope array, and was part of the consortium that built the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.


See his memoir (2008).

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Giacconi, Riccardo

(1931–  ) astrophysicist; born in Genoa, Italy. He came to Indiana University as a Fulbright Fellow in 1956 after teaching physics at the University of Milan. He went on to teach at Harvard (1973–82) and Johns Hopkins University (1982). He directed the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore (1981) and specialized in X-ray astronomy.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.