Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Baldwin, Ralph Belknap

Reference work entry

BornGrand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 6 June 1912

DiedNaples, Florida, USA, 23 October 2010

Astronomer and businessman Ralph Baldwin received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in astronomy and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Michigan, where he was a student of  Heber Curtis and  Dean McLaughlin. After completing his doctoral dissertation in 1937, on the spectroscopic study of novae, Baldwin taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1937–1938) and Northwestern University (1938–1942) while continuing work on the development of physical models of novae and unusual binary stars. In 1942, Baldwin accepted an appointment as a senior physicist at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, where, in a wartime group led by the geophysicist Merle Tuve, he helped to develop the radio proximity fuze.

In 1947, Baldwin returned home to Grand Rapids to help run the family business, Oliver Machinery Company. Between then and his retirement in 1984, he rose from product manager...

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Selected References

  1. Baldwin, Ralph B. (1949). The Face of the Moon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. — (1963). The Measure of the Moon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. — (1965). A Fundamental Survey of the Moon. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Doel, Ronald E. (1996). Solar System Astronomy in America: Communities, Patronage, and Interdisciplinary Science, 1920–1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, esp. pp. 161–169.Google Scholar
  5. Hoyt, William Graves (1987). Coon Mountain Controversies: Meteor Crater and the Development of Impact Theory. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, esp. pp. 357–360.Google Scholar
  6. Wilhelms, Don E. (1993). To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist’s History of Lunar Exploration. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, esp. pp. 14–19.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DaytonUSA