First and foremost, Al was an astronomer. According to him, it all stemmed from a lecture he attended at Cal-Tech given by the legendary Edwin Hubble after he returned from WWII after serving in the Navy. Hubble was already a famous astronomer at the top of his discipline. Finished, he asked the audience for questions. A short, european-looking Cal-Tech professor named Fritz Zwicky stood up and began a long argument with Hubble, despite his standing in the field. They went back and forth many times. At that moment, Al decided to attend Cal-Tech to earn a Ph.D. studying under Zwicky. He has many of stories to tell about Dr. Zwicky (who was not as famous as Hubble in that day, but in modern times has been recognized as the Father or first predictor of clustering in astronomical systems, the black hole, neutron star, and even dark matter). Some of those stories are included here; others in the “stories” subsection of this website. Here are some of Al’s contributions to astronomy.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, December, 1950: every scientist dreams of being asked by this journal to submit a review. Only the most recognized in a specialty are honored to accept an invitation. Here is Al’s explanation of a new tool in astronomy.