The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2007 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, F. Jamil Ragep, JoAnn Palmeri, Marvin Bolt

Malmquist, Karl Gunnar

  • Gary A. Wegner
Reference work entry

BornYstad, Sweden, 2 February 1893

DiedUppsala, Sweden, 27 June 1982

Swedish astronomer (Karl) Gunnar Malmquist is eponymized in the Malmquist bias, the idea that a sample of distant objects will inevitably be dominated by the brightest ones, compared to a sample of nearby objects. He wrote down very useful equations for correcting this bias in the early 1920s, although the basic idea was already implicit in earlier work by Jacobus Kapteyn.

Malmquist was the son of Emil Vilhelm and Anne Alfrida (née Persson) Malmquist. By his first wife, Hanna Karola Gertrud Ingeborg (née Lundvall), he had two sons, Sten (a professor of statistics at Stockholm University) and Olle (a medical doctor). Hanna died in about 1951, and a second late marriage to Lisa Malmquist was childless.

Malmquist studied under Carl Charlierat the Lund Observatory where he developed methods of mathematical statistics for the analysis of astronomical data, receiving his Ph.D. in 1921. He moved to the Stockholm...

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Selected References

  1. Malmquist, K. G. (1920). Meddelande från Lunds astronomiska observatorium, ser. 2, no. 22: 1.Google Scholar
  2. ——— (1924). Meddelanden från Lunds astronomiska observatorium, ser. 2, 32: 64.Google Scholar
  3. Teerikorpi, P. (1997). “Observational Selection Bias Affecting the Determination of the Extragalactic Distance Scale.” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 35: 101–136.ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Westerlund, B. E. Private communication, 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

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  • Gary A. Wegner

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