Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

Astrophysics: Conversation with Alexander Dalgarno, Phillips Professor of Astronomy, Harvard; February 28, 2003, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is today is Alexander Dalgarno, who is the Phillips Professor of Astronomy at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A distinguished astronomer and leading astrophysicist, Professor Dalgarno is renowned for his groundbreaking research in atomic, molecular, chemical, and dynamical processes in astrophysical and atmospheric environments. His three main areas of study are theoretical atomic and molecular physics, astrophysics, and aeronomy -- the study of the upper atmosphere. He has authored more than 600 publications. This spring, he is the Hitchcock Lecturer at Berkeley.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... entry into astrophysics
  2. Astrophysics ... work ... skills ... Astrophysical Journal Letters ... shaping an intellectual community ... science education ... astronomy and a sense of wonder ... arts and literature
  3. Comets ... accidental discovery of x-rays in a comet ... finding out why ... larger implications
  4. Research ... the work ... frustration and perseverance
  5. New Scientific Developments ... accounting for the beginnings of life ... dark energy and dark matter ... extra-solar planets ... observation ... matter and antimatter ... interdisciplinary synergy
  6. Conclusions ... advice to students ... real-world problems ... interest in puzzles

© Copyright 2003, Regents of the University of California

Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at