Herbert Goldstein
Born(1922-06-26)June 26, 1922
Bronx, New York, United States
DiedJanuary 12, 2005(2005-01-12) (aged 82)
Alma materCity College of New York (B.S., 1940)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1943)
Known forClassical Mechanics (1950, 1980, 2001)
AwardsE. O. Lawrence Award (1962)
Scientific career
FieldsClassical mechanics
Nuclear physics
InstitutionsColumbia University

Herbert Goldstein (June 26, 1922 – January 12, 2005) was an American physicist and the author of the standard graduate textbook Classical Mechanics.[1]

Life and work

Goldstein, long recognized for his scholarship in classical mechanics and reactor shielding, was the author of the graduate textbook, Classical Mechanics. The book has been a standard text since it first appeared 50 years ago and has been translated into nine languages. He received a B.S. from City College of New York in 1940 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943. From 1942 to 1946, Goldstein was a staff member of the wartime Radiation Laboratory at M.I.T., where he engaged in research on the theory of waveguides and magnetrons and on the characteristics of radar echoes. He was an instructor in the Physics Department at Harvard University from 1946 to 1949. In 1949–50 he was an AEC postdoctoral Fellow at M.I.T., and served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, 1952–53. From 1950, Goldstein was a Senior Physicist at Nuclear Development Corporation of America, where he directed theoretical research on the shielding of nuclear reactors and on neutron cross sections of interest for reactor design. Goldstein won the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1962 for his "contributions to reactor physics and to nuclear cross sections, and for his leadership in establishing a rational scientific basis for nuclear shield design".[2]

Goldstein was a professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science since 1961. He received the Great Teacher Award, given by the Society of Columbia Graduates, in 1976. In 1977, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the shielding division of the American Nuclear Society. From 1961 Goldstein was a professor of nuclear science and engineering at Columbia University. In 1984, Goldstein was the first to hold the Thomas Alva Edison Professorship at the University. At the time of his death he was professor emeritus. He was a founding member and served as president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. He was buried in Israel.[3] He was survived by his wife, Channa; his children, Penina, Aaron Meir and Shoshanna; and 10 grandchildren.[4]


See also


  1. ^ Moulton, E. J. (1952). "Review: Classical Mechanics by H. Goldstein" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (3): 396–399. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1952-09590-2.
  2. ^ "Herbert Goldstein, 1922-2005". 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ Maskewitz, Betty F. (February 2005). "Obituary—Herbert Goldstein, Nuclear Scientist—RSICC Friend". RSICC Newsletter.
  4. ^ "Herbert Goldstein, 1922-2005". 28 April 2017.
  5. ^ Rosenhead, L. (1951). "Review of Classical Mechanics". The Mathematical Gazette. 35 (311): 66–67. doi:10.2307/3610571. JSTOR 3610571.