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Physicist Gordon Baym elected to American Philosophical Society

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Gordon A. Baym, the Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Baym was among 47 scholars and researchers elected April 29 to the learned society based in Philadelphia.

Baym joined the UI faculty in 1963. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics in 1956 from Cornell University, his master's in mathematics in 1957 and his doctorate in physics in 1960, both from Harvard University.

Baym has been a leader in the study of matter under extreme conditions in astrophysics and nuclear physics. He has made original, seminal contributions to our understanding of neutron stars, relativistic effects in nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, quantum fluids and Bose-Einstein condensates. His work is characterized by a superb melding of basic theoretical physics concepts, from condensed matter to nuclear to elementary particle physics.

Baym is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society.

Also elected at this year's annual meeting were three UI alumni: Ralph J. Cicerone, chancellor and professor of chemistry at the University of California at Irvine; Walter Lee Robb, president of Vantage Management Inc.; and Jack Welch, chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric.

Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources and community service.

The society elected 42 resident members and five foreign members this year, bringing its total membership to 853, including 712 from the United States. Early members of the society included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and George Washington. Members elected in the 19th century included John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and Louis Pasteur. Members in the 20th century have included Albert Einstein, Robert Frost and George Marshall.