Henry Norris Russell

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Henry Norris Russell
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Oyster Bay (town), New York>Oyster Bay, New York (state), United States of America>USA19571810mf=yes}} Princeton, New Jersey>Princeton, New Jersey, USA|residence = |citizenship = United States>American|alma_mater = Princeton University|doctoral_advisor = Charles Augustus Young }}Prof Henry Norris Russell ForMemRS HFRSE FRAS (October 25, 1877 – February 18, 1957) was an American astronomer who, along with Ejnar Hertzsprung, developed the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram (1910). In 1923, working with Frederick Saunders, he developed Russell–Saunders coupling, which is also known as LS coupling.David H. DeVorkin, Henry Norris Russell - google booksGeorge Kean Sweetnam, The Command of Light - google books{{Biographical Memoirs|russell-henry-n}}Obituary MNRAS 118 (1958) 311Obituary Obs 77 (1957) 67Obituary PASP 69 (1957) 223BOOK
, DeVorkin
, David H
, Henry Norris Russell: Dean of American Astronomers
, Princeton University Press
, 2000
, 528 pages
, 0-691-04918-1, Bibliography in Bruce Medalist page for Russell maintained by Joseph Tenn at Sonoma State University


Russell was born on 25 October 1877, at Oyster Bay, New York, the son of Rev Alexander Gatherer Russell (1845-1911) and his wife, Eliza Hoxie Norris.BOOK, Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002, July 2006, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 0 902 198 84 X,weblink He studied astronomy at Princeton University, obtaining his B.A. In 1897 and his doctorate in 1899, studying under Charles Augustus Young. From 1903 to 1905, he worked at the Cambridge Observatory with Arthur Robert Hinks as a research assistant of the Carnegie Institution and came under the strong influence of George Darwin.He returned to Princeton to become an instructor in astronomy (1905–1908), assistant professor (1908–1911), professor (1911–1927) and research professor (1927–1947). He was also the director of the Princeton University Observatory from 1912 to 1947.He died in Princeton, New Jersey on 18 February 1957 at the age of 79.BOOK, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, Vol. 1, Part 2, Mehra, Jagdish, Helmut Rechenberg, 2001, Springer, 686,weblink He is buried in Princeton Cemeteryweblink


In November 1908 Russell married Lucy May Cole (1881-1968). They had four children. Their youngest daughter, Margaret Russell (1914-1999), married the astronomer Frank K. Edmondson in the 1930s.

Published work

Russell co-wrote an influential two-volume textbook in 1927 with Raymond Smith Dugan and John Quincy Stewart: Astronomy: A Revision of Young’s Manual of Astronomy (Ginn & Co., Boston, 1926–27, 1938, 1945). This became the standard astronomy textbook for about two decades. There were two volumes: the first was The Solar System and the second was Astrophysics and Stellar Astronomy. The textbook popularized the idea that a star's properties (radius, surface temperature, luminosity, etc.)were largely determined by the star's mass and chemical composition, which became known as the Vogt-Russell theorem(including Heinrich Vogt who independently discovered the result). Since a star's chemical composition gradually changes with age (usually in a non-homogeneous fashion), stellar evolution results.Russell dissuaded Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin from concluding that the composition of the Sun is different from that of the Earth in her thesis, as it contradicted the accepted wisdom at the time. He realized she was correct four years later after deriving the same result by different means. In his paper Russell credited Payne with discovering that the Sun had a different chemical composition from Earth.WEB,weblink Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900 - 1979), 2010-03-05, Padman, Rachael, 2004, Newnham College Biographies,weblink" title="">weblink 2009-07-19, yes,
  • JOURNAL, Henry Norris Russell, Frederick Albert Saunders, New Regularities in the Spectra of the Alkaline Earths, Astrophysical Journal, 61, 1925, 38–69,weblink 1925ApJ....61...38R, 10.1086/142872,
  • BOOK, Henry Norris Russell, Raymond Smith Dugan, John Quincy Stewart, Astronomy: A Revision of Young’s Manual of Astronomy; Vol. I: The Solar System; Vol. II: Astrophysics and Stellar Astronomy'', Ginn & Co., Boston, 1926–27, 1938, 1945,
  • JOURNAL, Henry Norris Russell,weblink On the Composition of the Sun's Atmosphere, Astrophysical Journal, 70, 1929, 11–82, 1929ApJ....70...11R, 10.1086/143197,
  • JOURNAL, Henry Norris Russell, Model Stars (13th Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture), Bull. Amer. Math. Soc., 1937, 43, 2, 49–77, 1563489, 10.1090/S0002-9904-1937-06492-5,

Awards and honors


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