With Stars in Their Eyes: The Extraordinary Lives and Enduring Genius of Aden and Marjorie Meinel

ISBN : 9780190915674

James B. Breckinridge; Alec M. Pridgeon
528 ページ
156 x 235 mm

This book details the lives of two married geniuses, Aden and Marjorie Meinel, who helped to pioneer modern optics and solar energy in the U.S. Aden B. Meinel and Marjorie P. Meinel stood at the confluence of several overarching technological developments during their lifetimes, including postwar aerial surveillance by spy planes and satellites, solar energy, the evolution of telescope design, interdisciplinary optics, and photonics. Yet, their incredible stories and their long list of scientific contributions have never been adequately recognized in one place. In this book, James Breckinridge and Alec M. Pridgeon correct this oversight by sharing the story of this powerful duo. The book follows their lives and covers large scientific developments between World War II to the Cold War. James B. Breckinridge, a previous advisee and later colleague to the Meinels, and historian and scientist Alec M. Pridgeon collected more than 200 hours of oral interviews with those who worked closely with the Meinels and some who built their careers around the findings made possible by their work. The book shares and analyzes the work done by the Meinels, and it also includes incredible insights from an unpublished Meinel autobiography.


Chapter 1: From Tomahawks to Telescopes
Chapter 2: Rising Stars
Chapter 3: The Rocketeers
Chapter 4: Foreign Intelligence Across the Rhine
Chapter 5: Lights in the Night Sky
Chapter 6: Genius Blooms
Chapter 7: The People's Observatory
Chapter 8: Opportunity Knocks - Doors Open Wide
Chapter 9: Inventing Modern Optical Sciences
Donald E. Osborn: Chapter 10: Power for the People
Chapter 11: A View to National Security
Chapter 12: In Space at Last
Chapter 13: Slowly Fades the Supernova
Appendix 1: List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Appendix 2: Literature by Aden and Marjorie Meinel
Appendix 3: Select publications of Edison Pettit, Hannah Steele Pettit, and Helen Pettit Knaflich


James B. Breckinridge is Adjunct Professor in the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona and Astronomy Visiting Associate at Caltech. After earning his BS in physics at Case Western Reserve University and his MS and PhD in optical sciences at the University of Arizona, he was an astronomical research assistant at Lick Observatory and later Kitt Peak National Observatory. Aden Meinel served on Breckinridge's MS advisory committee at the University of Arizona, and Marjorie and Aden both worked for him for eight years at NASA/JPL before they retired. Alec M. Pridgeon recently retired from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he specialized in DNA sequencing and molecular phylogenetics. He has edited and contributed to a six-volume series on Genera Orchidacearum. Pridgeon earned his BA in philosophy at the University of Michigan and his PhD in biology at Florida State University.