Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Anderson, John August

  • Klaus HentschelEmail author
Reference work entry

BornRollag, Minnesota, USA, 7 August 1876

DiedAltadena, California, USA, 2 December 1959

American spectroscopist John Anderson made important contributions to astronomy by ruling excellent gratings for spectrographs, developing techniques to study gases at stellar temperatures, and supervising the production and testing of optical components for the 200-in. telescope on Palomar Mountain. Anderson was the son of Norwegian immigrants and was educated at Concordia College, the State Normal School in Moorhead, Minnesota, and Valparaiso College, Indiana (B.S.: 1900), interrupted by periods working in a hardware store and at a lumberyard. He taught physics and other subjects in Clay County, Minnesota, before beginning graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1907 with a thesis on the absorption and emission spectra of compounds of neodymium and erbium. In 1908, Anderson worked on absorption spectra of solutions with Harry C. Jones (physical chemistry) at...

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Selected References

  1. Anderson, John A. (1922). “Diffraction Gratings.” In A Dictionary of Applied Physics, edited by Sir Richard Glazebook. Vol. 4, pp. 30–41. London: Macmillan, 2nd ed. 1950. (Probably his best-known article.)Google Scholar
  2. Bowen, Ira S. (1962). “John August Anderson.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences 36: 1–18.Google Scholar
  3. DeVorkin, David H. (2000). “Quantum Physics and the Stars (V): Physicists at Mount Wilson Prior to 1922.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 31: 301–321, esp. 310f. (See photograph of Anderson’s laboratory at the Mount Wilson offices on Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena.)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hentschel, Klaus (1988). Zum Zusammenspiel von Instrument, Experiment und Theorie: Rotverschiebung im Sonnenspektrum und verwandte spektrale Verschiebungseffekte von 1880 bis 1960. Hamburg: Kovac. (For Anderson’s spectroscopic work.)Google Scholar
  5. — (2002). Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Representation in Research and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ronald, Florence (1994). The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope. New York: HarperCollins. (For Anderson’s involvement with the 200-in. telescope.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany