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Dr Robert Frederick Christy

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Dr Robert Frederick Christy

  • Birth 14 May 1916 Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
  • Death 3 Oct 2012 Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Altadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Mountain Meadows East, Lot# 4427, Space #00002
  • Memorial ID 98298802

Physicist and Astrophysicist. Best known for being among the first scientists of the staff of the Manhattan Project, created for the realization of Atomic Bomb. Very young graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of British Columbia, he moved to California where, student of Professor Robert Oppenheimer, obtained his doctorate at Berkeley University. In 1941, Robert Christy began to work with Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago for the construction of first nuclear reactor. Immediately after the entry into the war of the United States, Oppenheimer invited him to join the scientific staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he designed the implosion device, know as trigger mechanism, necessary for the detonation of the atomic bomb. In 1946 he decided to pursue the academic career at the California Institute of Technology, where during the years of his stay, has served as Department Chair, Provost and Acting President. Because of the devastating effects obtained by the explosion of the atomic bomb, Dr. Christy, refusing to participate in the "Teller's Project" for the realization of the thermonuclear bomb, turned his attention to astrophysics, specifically to the nuclear fusion that is developed on the stars, and to their brightness variations which are used to measure cosmic distances. Thanks to this research he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and was awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. Between the 80s and 90s, he was a member of a National Committee instituted for better understand the medical risks of radiation exposure. Dr. Christy died of natural causes at his home in Pasadena.

Bio by: Lucy & Chris





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Lucy & Chris
  • Added: 5 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 98298802
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Robert Frederick Christy (14 May 1916–3 Oct 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 98298802, citing Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum, Altadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .