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Finding Aid for the Ira Sprague Bowen Papers 1916-1961
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Ira Sprague Bowen: 1898-1973. Astrophysicist; Director, Mt. Wilson Observatory, 1946-1964; Professor of Physics, Caltech 1926-45. Much of his physics research was concerned with studies of spectral lines and spectroscopy; in the 1930s his interests turned more to astronomy and astrophysics and he devised many new instruments and techniques for observational astronomy. Papers include correspondence (ca. 1933-47), notebooks (many from his years at University of Chicago, 1916-21), articles, speeches, and photographs.
One of the most distinguished astrophysicists of the twentieth century, Ira Sprague Bowen made fundamental contributions to the analysis of atomic spectra, the physics of gaseous nebulae and practical optics. Born in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1898, he graduated from Oberlin College in 1919 before entering the University of Chicago. There, he studied with Albert Michelson who infused in Bowen a love of optics. He also met Robert A. Millikan, who invited him to the California Institute of Technology in 1921.
2.5 linear feet
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise, is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
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