Franklin Laureate Database
Gerald E. Brown
Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY Stony Brook
Citation: For his contributions in fields of theoretical physics and astrophysics.
Gerald Brown was born in Brookings, South Dakota in 1926. He earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1946 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University in 1948 and 1950, respectively.
Dr. Brown did fundamental work in atomic physics, beginning with the self-ionization of the vacuum with Geoff Ravenhall in 1951, electron-electron interactions and the Lamb Shift in heavy atoms, and accurate evaluation of Rayleigh scattering. Together with Tom Kuo he worked out effective interactions between nucleons in nuclei, and with Mark Bolsterli the giant dipole state. Together with Mannque Rho and Dan Olaf Riska, he introduced chiral invariance into nuclear physics. In more than twenty papers with Hans Bethe, he worked out the collapse of large stars, the evolution of compact binaries, and, most recently, the evolution of black holes in the galaxy, as well as a theory of gamma ray bursters.