The family of Professor Emeritus Charles Misner has established the Charles W. Misner Endowed Lectureship in Gravitational Physics, honoring the theorist's illustrious career.
The inaugural lecture will be given by Associate Professor Sam Gralla of the University of Arizona on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in room 1410 of the John S. Toll Physics Building.
Misner received his Ph.D. at Princeton University under John Archibald Wheeler, and was recruited to the University of Maryland by John. S. Toll in 1963. He enjoyed a distinguished career in general relativity, devising with Richard Arnowitt and Stanley Deser the ADM formalism, which was commended by the Albert Einstein Society with its Einstein Medal in 2015. Misner is also well-known as the co-author, with Wheeler and Kip Thorne, of the acclaimed 1973 textbook, Gravitation. The authoritative opus, known as MTW in tribute to its authors, was republished in 2017.
The lecture is not the first example of the Misner family's gracious support of the Department of Physics. In 2018, Susanne Kemp Misner (1933-2019) spotted a New York Times story about the $760,000 sale of physicist Stephen Hawking's signed doctoral thesis. An ensuing exploration of Prof. Misner's UMD office yielded correspondence with Hawking, a long-time friend and colleague, leading to a fruitful auction and gift to the Weber Endowment for Gravitational Physics, acknowledging Joe Weber's influence in gravitational wave science.