Biography and History

Physicist, educator, and author, Robert H. Dicke (pronounced Dick-ee) was born May 6, 1916 in St. Louis, MO. Highly respected for his contributions to the study of physics, astrophysics, and cosmology, Dicke was an early believer in the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe and postulated that an echo of that event could still be detected through radio waves. However, before he could confirm his theory, the echo was verified by two other scientists working in a related area, and Dicke was excluded--unfairly in the view of some commentators--from sharing in the Nobel Prize that they were awarded in 1978 as a result of the finding. A longtime professor at Princeton University, Dicke conducted numerous experiments in gravity and in his unsuccessful challenge of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. Dicke held approximately fifty patents for his discoveries, many of them pertaining to the development of radar. He was named the Albert Einstein University Professor of Science at Princeton University in 1975, becoming emeritus in 1984. His books include An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1960), The Theoretical Significance of Experimental Relativity (1964), and Gravitation and the Universe (1970). Dicke died of complications from Parkinson's disease, March 4, 1997, in Princeton, NJ.

Source: From the finding aid for C0886

  • Robert H. Dicke Papers. 1939-1996 (inclusive), 1953-1990 (bulk).

    Call Number: C0886

    Robert H. Dicke, born in 1916, was a Princeton physicist, educator, and author. The collection includes Dicke’s professional correspondence, files from his work with the Office of Naval Research, NASA, and the National Science Board, and the National Science Foundation, and assorted other documents.