Rita Dorothy Guggenheim Lerner (May 7, 1929 – July 16, 1994)[1] was an American physicist, librarian, editor, and science communicator who worked for many years at the American Institute of Physics. With George L. Trigg, she was co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Physics (Addison-Wesley, 1981).[2]


Rita Guggenheim was born in New York, New York, in 1929,[1][3] and was a 1945 graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School.[4] She earned a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe College in 1949,[3] and was managing editor of the college yearbook.[5] She went to Columbia University for graduate study, earning a master's degree in 1951 and (as Rita G. Lerner) completing her Ph.D. in 1956;[3] her dissertation was Microwave Studies of Molecular Structure.[6]

She came to the American Institute of Physics in the 1960s, hired as part of a program funded by the National Science Foundation for the improvement of scientific communication.[7]

She died on July 16, 1994, in Ardsley, New York.[1]


Lerner was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1986.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Rita Guggenheim, 1929 – 1994", Hohenems Genealogie: Jüdische Familiengeschichte in Vorarlberg und Tirol, Jewish Museum of Hohenems, retrieved 2021-04-28
  2. ^ Reviews of Encyclopedia of Physics:
  3. ^ a b c "Front Matter", The Library Quarterly, 54 (1), University of Chicago Press: 105–106, January 1984, doi:10.1086/601430
  4. ^ "In memoriam", Alumni and Friends of LaGuardia High School, retrieved 2021-04-28
  5. ^ "Baker Becomes Head Of 'Cliffe's Yearbook", The Crimson, 28 April 1948
  6. ^ Dissertation Abstracts, vol. 16, University Microfilms, 1956, p. 8
  7. ^ Doel, Ronald (12 August 1991), "William Havens - Session V", Oral Histories, American Institute of Physics
  8. ^ Historic Fellows, American Association for the Advancement of Science, retrieved 2021-04-28