Katharine Blodgett Gebbie, American astrophysicist, Died at 84


Katharine Blodgett Gebbie was born on July 4, 1932, and died on August 17, 2016.

She was an American astrophysicist and civil servant.

Katharine was the founding Director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and of its two immediate predecessors, the Physics Laboratory and the Center for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, both for which she was the only Director.

Over the 22 years of her management of these institutions, four of its scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The early sixties were a time of significant public investment in research in both atomic physics and astrophysics, due to their combined importance for understanding the upper atmosphere, plasma diagnostics, guided missile systems, and satellite and space flight

During 2015, the NIST Katharine Blodgett Gebbie Laboratory Building in Boulder, Colorado was named in her honor.

Hugh Alastair Gebbie was her husband until his death.

She died in San Jose, CA.

Katharine Blodgett Gebbie passed away at 84 years old.