Astronomer Saul J. Adelman, Ph.D., presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who

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Dr. Adelman has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the astronomy field

Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Saul J. Adelman, PhD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Adelman celebrates many years’ experience in his professional networks, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

With more than five decades of excellence in his specialties, Dr. Adelman has garnered a laudable reputation as an exemplary astronomer and educator. His interest in astronomy began as a child, when he would take both early-morning bird watching trips and late-night stargazing excursions with his father. Somewhat exhausted by this schedule, his mother told the future Dr. Adelman to decide which activity to continue. He chose stargazing, and his interest in astronomy continued to grow. He attended the University of Maryland in College Park, graduating in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics with high honors and high honors in Physics and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in 1972. His thesis advisor was Dr. George W. Preston III from whom he learned much about the conduct of research. His thesis topic was “A Study of Twenty-One Sharp-lined Non-Variable Cool Peculiar A Stars” which derived their elemental abundances from spectra in the photographic region mainly taken at the 100-inch telescope of Mt. Wilson Observatory.

From the summer of 1972 until the summer of 1974, Dr. Adelman was a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Postdoctoral Resident Research Associate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. His advisor was Dr. Anne B/ Underhill who had an excellent sense of the science behind the problems she investigated. He began some research projects with other astronomers and diversified his interests by studying the ultraviolet, optical ultraviolet, and visible spectral regions, each of which for a given star has some lines of different atomic species. With grating scanners he performed spectrophotometric observations and also studied the atomic physics of species of astronomical interest. Sometimes he could investigate a topic using more than one technique which enabled him to understand details in the data which otherwise would have been missed.

Between 1974 and 1978 he was an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Boston University. There he began to involve some of his undergraduate students with his research. The work that they did had to be appropriate to their scientific skills. Their studies showed them that they could act as scientists and opened new directions for their careers. His first spectrophotometric studies of the mCP (magnetic Chemically Peculiar) stars revealed that three broad continuum features in their optical region spectrum which had been recently been discovered by others were class characteristics.

He found further success as an Assistant Professor of physics at The Citadel in 1978, and rose to become an Associate Professor in 1983, and a Professor in 1989. Dr. Adelman returned to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Senior Research Associate from the summer of 1984 to the summer of 1986. During this and the subsequent period he concentrated on the Mercury-Manganese stars which were intermediate in properties between the mCP and solar composition stars. He would continue to teach at The Citadel until 2019, when he retired and was granted Professor Emeritus status.

In the early 1980s the spectrophotometric instruments at Palomar and Kitt Peak were retired. He used previously obtained observations of normal stars to help determine their effective temperatures. After he increased the number of band passes in his later observations, he found those of the mCP stars showed considerably greater complexity.

Dr. Adelman has been the author or coauthor of 363 articles most of which have appeared in refereed professional journals, co-editor of the Proceedings of 9 scientific meetings, and seven popular articles. Forty-two of his undergraduate students were coauthors of at least one of his articles. He was the co-thesis advisor of six PhD students in Turkey and the advisor of a master’s student at Boston University.

Another major line of work was over 40 trend setting elemental abundance analyses papers made with spectrograms obtained with the coude spectrograph of the 1.22-m telescope of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and electronic detectors. Many were done with scientific collaborators. There were in addition auxiliary papers. They used the technique known as fine analyses. Most of the data had a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 200. An attempt was made to have a good degree of consistency among the different stellar studies. The choices of model atmospheres made use of optical region spectrophotometry. Normal stars with elemental abundances similar to the Sun of spectral types B and A with effective temperatures of 2 to 4 times that of the Sun were studied. With Drs. Aaron S. Adelman and Olga I. Pintado he showed that non-magnetic Mercury-Manganese and the cooler metallic-lined stars formed a temperature sequence.

With Dr. Austin F. Gulliver and other collaborators, he participated in a series of papers on the very bright Spectral Type A0 Va star Vega. Some of the weak lines had peculiar flat-bottomed profiles which they attributed to a fast-rotating star observed nearly pole on. Another of their studies of the bright Mercury-Manganese Star Alpha And showed that the behavior of the mercury lines in its atmosphere was due clouds.

He was initiated into the Honor Societies Phi Beta Kappa. Sigma Pi Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Maryland and Sigma Xi at Boston University. Later at The Citadel he helped revive its chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma. He served at the first Treasurer and later President of its Phi Kappa Phi Chapter. Further he was the Vice-President and the President of the Charleston, SC Chapter of Sigma Xi. In 2011 he was the first recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution.

He had many PhD level collaborators in his research. The most productive in terms of the increasing numbers of papers are Drs. Zulema Lopez-Garcia, Cetin Bolcal, Barry Smalley, Glenn Wahlgren, Tanya Ryabchikova, Charles R. Cowley, Robert J. Dukes, Jr., Steven N. Shore, Kutluay Yuce, Olga I. Pintado, Hulya Caliskan, Dursun Kocer, David S. Leckrone, Graham Hill, A. G. Davis Philip, Diane Pyper Smith, and Austin F. Gulliver.

Dr. Adelman’s observing experience was as a Guest Investigator at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Canada and, at the Hubble Space Telescope, and as a participant in the Smarts Consortium which uses the Chiron Echelle Spectrograph on the 1.5-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile. Further he has been a Visiting Astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory and at Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito in Argentina. He was a Guest Investigator with the Hale Observatories, the Copernicus Satellite, the Hipparcos Satellite, and the Turkish National Observatory. He participated in the Four College Automated Photoelectric Telescope Project with Drs. Robert J. Dukes, Jr., Principal Investigator, Diane Pyper Smith, George McCook, and Edward Guinan. This telescope operated in the mountains of Southern Arizona during 1990-2012 and obtained intermediate four band Stromgren uvby photometry of bright stars. Dr. Adelman used his share of time to observe the variable mCP Stars, A-type supergiants, and cool chemically peculiar S-type stars. Primarily with Smith he better defined the rotational properties of the class of mCP Stars. He was the Associate Producer of the 1-hour television program “The Perfect Stargazer” on the South Carolina Educational Television Network in January 1990. It won a Bronze Award at the 1991 Houston International Film and Video Festival.

Dr. Adelman has been grantee of NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Space Telescope Science Institute besides The Citadel Foundation. He was an active member of the International Astronomical Union which culminated in his being a past president of the International Astronomical Union Commission B6 Astronomical Photometry and Polarimetry. He remains a member of the International Astronomical Union, the American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. In retirement he is continuing to work with his collaborators on Chemically Peculiar and normal main sequence band, B, A, and early F stars, coudé spectroscopy, CCD spectrophotometry, abundance analyses, line identification techniques, space astronomy, horizontal-branch stars, photoelectric photometry, automatic telescopes, S stars, and A type supergiants. He hopes to complete a new CCD based spectrophotometric telescope in the near future. He plans to make considerable progress on his family history and continue to document cemeteries in Lithuania where his ancestors are buried beyond the three he has already done with the aid of his guide Regina Kopelvitch,. Besides spending time with his family especially his two grandchildren he wants to continue improving his photographic skills of nature and architectural subjects and travel to see the sights of the world.

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