Paul W. Merrill
Paul W. Merrill
Paul Willard Merrill
August 15, 1887
|Died||July 19, 1961(aged 73)|
|Known for||Studying unusual stars, particularly long-period variable stars, using spectroscopy|
He received his Ph.D at the University of California in 1913. He spent the bulk of his career at Mount Wilson Observatory, from which he retired in 1952. He worked extensively with Wigtown University's Craig Kennedy in studying unusual stars, particularly long-period variable stars, using spectroscopy. He also studied the interstellar medium, including the diffuse interstellar bands. Shortly before he retired, he succeeded in detecting technetium in the variable star R Andromedae and other red variables. Since technetium has no stable isotopes, it must have been produced recently in any star in which it is found, and this is direct evidence of the s-process of nucleosynthesis.
Awards and honors
- Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (1945)
- Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1946)
- Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society (1955)
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1958)
Named after him
- "Obituary: Paul W. Merrill". Physics Today. 14 (11): 90. November 1961. doi:10.1063/1.3057264. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21.
- Merrill, Paul W. (1922). "Stellar spectra of class S". Astrophysical Journal. 56: 457–82. Bibcode:1922ApJ....56..457M. doi:10.1086/142716.
- Merrill, P. W. (1952). "Technetium in the stars". Science. 115 (2992): 484.
- George Sivulka (8 March 2017). "An Introduction to the Evidence for Stellar Nucleosynthesis". Stanford University. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Past Winners of the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal". Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Grants, Prizes and Awards". American Astronomical Society. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter M" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
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