Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Reuven Ramaty Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1963-1999
17.80 linear feet
(44 archives boxes and 7 oversize folders)
Abstract: Papers of Reuven Ramaty, astrophysicist, pioneer in high energy astrophysics, and a leading theorist at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center for over 30 years. The collection documents his years at Goddard Space Flight Center first as post-doctoral
research associate, then as astrophysicist, and finally as head of the theory office of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics.
Ramaty is best known for his study of the high-energy nuclear reactions in solar flares and the use of gamma-ray line and
neutron measurements to determine the properties of flare-accelerated particles. Materials in the collection date from 1963-1999.
The collection is rich in Ramaty's research and writings and comprises research materials, manuscripts, drafts, and final
versions, notes, and correspondence. Writings include most of his significant publications in refereed journals and books.
The collection also documents his conference presentations and invited talks. Also included are materials related to Ramaty's
involvement in NASA-funded theory initiatives, space science missions, his work on different committees, working groups, and
as an organizer of several major space science conferences. The collection is arranged in six series: 1) WRITINGS, 2) CONFERENCES,
3) COMMITTEES, 4) SUBJECT FILES, 5) CORRESPONDENCE, and 6) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0543
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Letters of recommendation located in box 44, folders 3 and 7 are restricted until 2049.
Reuven Ramaty Papers, MSS 0543. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Reuven Ramaty was born on February 25, 1937, in Timisoara, a Hungarian enclave in Romania. He grew up during the uproar of
World War II in a multicultural environment and immigrated to Israel at age 11. He loved languages and became fluent in Hebrew,
English, and French in addition to his native Romanian and Hungarian. He also studied German, Italian and Japanese. Ramaty
graduated from Tel Aviv University in 1961 with B.S. in physics. He earned his Ph.D. in planetary space physics from UCLA
in 1966 in a record time of two years. Ramaty joined Goddard Space Flight Center in 1967, first as a post-doctoral research
associate, and then as a government-employed astrophysicist at the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. From 1980 to
1993, he served as the head of the theory office at the laboratory.
Ramaty had a profound scientific impact on the study of solar-flare physics, gamma-ray astronomy, and cosmic rays. Together
with his longtime collaborator Richard Lingenfelter, he pioneered in establishing the field of solar gamma-ray-line astronomy
using the abundance of elements in the sun and determining how sun flares are produced. He and Richard Lingenfelter first
showed these techniques in 1967 and continued to refine them over the next 30 years through extensive studies. Ramaty also
pioneered the field of gamma-ray-line astronomy with seminal studies of positron annihilation radiation, nuclear deexcitation
lines, and nucleosynthetic decay lines in the interstellar medium and compact sources. His accomplishments are reflected
in over 200 publications and more than 5,000 citations to his work in the literature.
Ramaty was the principal investigator on four NASA-funded theory initiatives and a co- or guest investigator on several space-science
missions. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Ramaty's interpretation of gamma-ray data from the COS-B, SAS and HEAO-C missions
guided the development of the highly successful Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Ramaty also was a major influence in the success
of the Solar Maximum Mission and the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) mission. His colleagues point out that
HESSI might not have been realized without his active encouragement and involvement.
Ramaty also served the high-energy astronomy community as chairman of the High-Energy Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical
Society, chairman of the Division of Astrophysics and Divisional Councilor for Astrophysics of the American Physical Society,
and an associate editor of Physical Review Letters.
Ramaty received several major awards in his career. He was awarded the Senior U.S. Scientist Award from the Alexander von
Humboldt Foundation in 1975. In 1980, Ramaty was honored with NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award. In 1981, he
became recipient of the Lindsay Award from Goddard Space Flight Center for his work on gamma-ray bursts. Lastly, one week
before his death, he was notified that he was the winner of the 2001 Yodh Prize, given by the Commission on Cosmic Rays of
the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.
Reuven Ramaty died on April 8, 2001.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Reuven Ramaty Papers document his professional life as a research astrophysicist for over three decades. Well represented
in the papers are his scientific writings including journal articles and books, conference presentations, research proposals,
and contributions to theoretical initiatives and space-science missions. Also included are materials documenting conferences
organized by Ramaty such as Gamma Ray Spectroscopy in Astrophysics conference held at Goddard Space Flight Center (1978),
Tenth Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics held in Baltimore (1980), and F. B. McDonald Birthday Symposium held at
Goddard Space Flight Center (1995). A significant part of the collection is correspondence files. Materials document Ramaty's
service an associate editor of Physical Review Letters, his research activities, and communication with colleagues, graduate
students, and others.
The papers are arranged in six series: 1) WRITINGS, 2) CONFERENCES, 3) COMMITTEES, 4) SUBJECT FILES, 5) CORRESPONDENCE, and
6) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series (1965-1997) mainly comprises Ramaty's papers published in refereed journals. The series is arranged in
two subseries: A) Dated Publications and B) Miscellaneous Publications.
A) Dated Publications are organized chronologically and contain Ramaty's published articles, books, and short papers. Many
articles are co-authoured with his collaborators. Typically, folders include the reprint, handwritten or typed drafts of
the paper, figures, graphs, slides, reprints or photocopies of reference articles, and related publication correspondence
with editorial staff or collaborators.
B) Miscellaneous Publications are organized alphabetically by the title and include undated writings. Folders primarily contain
typescripts of articles.
SERIES 2: CONFERENCES
The CONFERENCES series (1965-1997) documents Ramaty's professional activities at various conferences and is arranged in two
subseries: A) Conference Presentations and B) Miscellaneous Materials.
A) Conference Presentations are organized chronologically and contain papers presented at the conferences and often later
published in conference proceedings. Included materials are paper reprints, handwritten and typed drafts, overhead transparencies,
slides, graphs and figures, and correspondence.
B) Miscellaneous Materials are organized alphabetically by the title of the conference and document conferences where Ramaty
played a key role in planning and preparing for publication of new research. Included are materials documenting the Solar
Maximum Mission workshop (1984-1985) and the High Energy Solar Physics workshop (1995) held at Goddard.
SERIES 3: COMMITTEES
The COMMITTEES series (1977-1986) documents Ramaty's professional activities in research projects, working groups, and committees.
The series is arranged in two subseries: A) NASA Committees and B) National Research Committees and Working Groups.
A) NASA Committees are organized alphabetically by the name of the committee and contains materials related to NASA's theory
research initiatives and space-science research missions. Included are handwritten and typed drafts of research proposals,
correspondence, memorandums, agendas, viewgraphs of presented reports, meeting minutes. Notable committees include the Gamma
Ray Observatory Support Group, MAX '90 Study Group, and Solar Physics Working Group.
B) National Research Committees and Working Groups are organized alphabetically by the name of the group and comprise materials
documenting Ramaty's professional involvement with various science groups not affiliated with any institution in particular.
Included are reports, meeting minutes, agendas, memorandums, handwritten and typed drafts of papers contributed to group publications,
and correspondence. Among important committees are the Committee on Space, Astronomy, and Astrophysics (1974-1979), the Outlook
for Space Working Group (1974-1975), and the Particle Acceleration Working Group (1976-1978).
SERIES 4: SUBJECT FILES
The SUBJECT FILES series (1979-1996) is ordered alphabetically by the title and comprises various materials reflecting Ramaty's
professional involvement with space-science experiments and missions, his service at the American Astronomical Society and
University Space Research Association, and his tenure as head of the theory office of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics
at Goddard. The series includes unfinished, undated, and untitled hand-written drafts, notes, and reference materials related
to Ramaty's three major research themes such as annihilation of galactic positrons, galactic center annihilation radiation,
and gamma-ray spectroscopy and solar flares. Also included are research proposals and reports on space-science experiments
and missions. Among notable are materials related to Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy Experiment (GRSE), Solar High Energy Astrophysical
Plasma Explorer (SHAPE), and NASA's astrophysics theory program.
SERIES 5: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series (1963-1999) is arranged chronologically and contains Ramaty's communications with colleagues, graduate
students, and others. Much of the correspondence reflects the fact that Ramaty spent much of his time critiquing the work
of others, reviewing and evaluating research proposals and papers, and carrying on long-term relationships with his collaborators
and postdoctoral fellows.
The series also includes correspondence related to his service as head of the theory office of the Laboratory for High Energy
Astrophysics at Goddard Space Flight Center, Chairman of the High-Energy Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society,
Chairman of the Division of Astrophysics, and Divisional Councilor for Astrophysics of the American Physical Society.
SERIES 6: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS (1966-1996) contains autobiographical sketches, curriculum vitae, resumes, photocopies of certificates,
research statements, performance evaluations of Ramaty's research activities at Goddard, newspaper articles mentioning Ramaty's
work, and group photographs.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Ramaty, R. -- Archives
United States. -- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center
Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics (Goddard Space Flight Center)
Astrophysicists -- United States -- Biography
Gamma ray astronomy