Arthur F. Davidsen papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
MS 0624

Dates

  • 1950-2001 (Creation)

Extents

  • 52.5 Cubic Feet (Whole)
    42 record center cartons

Notes

  • Abstract

    Arthur F. Davidsen was a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the principal professional staff of the university's Applied Physics Laboratory. His primary research interests included high-energy astrophysics and cosmology, in particular the study of galaxies, quasars, and the intergalactic medium through ultraviolet spectroscopy with space-borne telescopes.

    This collection of papers represents the professional scientific career of Arthur F. Davidsen, including his research data, lecture and teaching materials, and professional correspondence. Davidsen's papers also include proposals to NASA for the development of telescope instruments, and record his efforts to establish the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University. The collection spans 1950 to 2001.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Arthur F. Davidsen was a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the principal professional staff of the university's Applied Physics Laboratory. His primary research interests included high-energy astrophysics and cosmology, in particular the study of galaxies, quasars, and the intergalactic medium through ultraviolet spectroscopy with space-borne telescopes.

    In 1977, Davidsen used a remote-controlled, rocket-borne telescope and spectrometer launched from the White Sands Missile Range, and obtained the first ultraviolet spectrum of an object beyond the Earth's galaxy - the quasar 3C273. Davidsen was an involved member of the scientific community, serving on a variety of committees for space research, both nationally and abroad. Largely due to his efforts from 1979 to 1981, the Space Telescope Science Institute was built on the Johns Hopkins University campus, situating Johns Hopkins as a center for space research. He subsequently served from 1982 to 1990 on the Space Telescope Institute Council of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), which manages the Institute under a NASA contract, and until 1992 on the AURA Board of Directors. To promote the further development of astrophysics at JHU, Davidsen also formed the Center for Astrophysical Sciences in 1985 and served as its first director. Following the launch of the Hubble telescope in 1990, he served for two years as the first chairman of the Space Telescope Users Committee.

    Professor Davidsen was the recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Helen B. Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society in 1979 and a Johns Hopkins University Presidential Citation in 1991. He authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific articles and he lectured at many of the nation's top research universities and institutes.

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection of papers represents the professional scientific career of Arthur F. Davidsen, including his research data, lecture and teaching materials, and professional correspondence. Davidsen's papers also include proposals to NASA for the development of telescope instruments, and record his efforts to establish the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University. One notable series in this collection reveals the development of the Faint Object Spectrograph, an instrument used on the Hubble Space Telescope for the detection of distant astrophysical sources from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared on the visible spectrum.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Emily Hampton, July-October 2015.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], [Collection title], [Collection number], Special Collections, The Johns Hopkins University.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections department acquired the papers of Arthur F. Davidsen in 2003.

Collection Details