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Nuclear Scientist Herbert Goldstein, 82, Dies

Herbert Goldstein, Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Columbia, died on Jan. 12. He was 82.

Goldstein, long recognized for his scholarship in classical mechanics and reactor shielding, was the author of the graduate textbook, Classical Mechanics. The book has been a standard text since it first appeared 50 years ago and has been translated into nine languages. Goldstein's contributions to nuclear energy were honored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which awarded him the E.O. Lawrence Memorial Award in 1962. In 1977, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the shielding division of the American Nuclear Society.

Goldstein was a professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science since 1961. He received the Great Teacher Award, given by the Society of Columbia Graduates, in 1976. In 1984, Goldstein was the first to hold the Thomas Alva Edison Professorship at the University.

In addition to research, Goldstein devoted time to promoting scientific literacy by teaching undergraduate courses. In 1977, he taught a course he designed to increase scientific understanding of energy issues -- "Nuclear Energy: A Semi-technical View for the Non-scientist." He was also one of the faculty members instrumental in developing an innovative science course for non-scientists, "The Theory and Practice of Science," at the College.

Goldstein was a consultant for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Nuclear Society, the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Goldstein also was a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and was a founding member and president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. He received a B.S. from City College of New York in 1940 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943.

He is survived by his wife, Channa; his children, Penina, Aaron Meir and Shoshanna; and 10 grandchildren.

Published: Feb 03, 2005
Last modified: Feb 03, 2005

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