Cosmos Club Honors Dr. Herbert Friedman


4/22/1996 - 27-96r
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Dr. Herbert Friedman, Chief Scientist Emeritus of the Space Science Division's E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has received the 1996 Cosmos Club Award in recognition of more than 50 years of distinguished scientific achievement and public service. Dr. Friedman was presented the award at a special ceremony held at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., on April 18.

The Cosmos Club, a private social club, was founded in 1878 by noted geologist and explorer, John Wesley Powell. Club members are elected on the basis of their meritorious original work in science, literature or the arts; cultivation in science, literature or the arts; or for distinguishment in a learned profession or public service. Over the years, membership has included three U.S. presidents, two vice-presidents, a dozen supreme court justices, 29 Nobel Prize winners and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Dr. Friedman has conducted or directed programs in metallurgy, electron optics, nuclear radiation and space research, and is nationally and internationally known as a pioneer of x-ray astronomy. His early work in the field of rocket astronomy used captured German V-2 rockets and proved the direct relationships between solar x-ray variability and the strength of the earth's ionosphere. During the International Geophysical Year (IGY), he led two major experiments involving rocket launchings from naval vessels. The first showed that solar flares emit hard x-rays that produce short wave radio blackout; the second used a total eclipse to isolate x-ray sources in coronal condensations. Experiments conducted by Dr. Friedman produced the first x-ray photographs of the sun.

In 1964, Dr. Friedman and his NRL team made the first positive identification of a galactic x-ray source, the Crab Nebula. Subsequently, they were first to detect extragalactic x-ray sources, the quasar 3C-273, and the giant galaxy M-87. Later, Dr. Friedman played a major role in promoting the use of very large spacecraft for x-ray astronomy and was one of the key scientists responsible for the establishment of NASA's High Energy Astronomy Observatory program of the 1970s.

Dr. Friedman joined NRL in 1940 after obtaining his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and served as superintendent of NRL's Space Science Division from 1959 until 1980.
He holds 50 patents and has authored or coauthored more than 300 scientific papers, as well as
several books. Throughout his career, Dr. Friedman has chaired or served on at least 60 committees and advisory groups, worldwide.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dr. Friedman has been recognized with numerous awards. These awards include: the President's Distinguished Federal Civilian Service Award; the National Medal of Science; the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society; the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union; the Wolf Prize in Physics from the Wolf Foundation in Israel; and the 1992 Massey Award from the Royal Society of London, in association with the International Council of Scientific Unions' Committee on Space Research.



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