Elected in 1977
“For leadership in the fields of gas dynamics,
magnetohydro-dynamics, and bioengineering.”
BY FRANCIS E. KENNEDY
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
ARTHUR R. KANTROWITZ, an innovative and forward-looking physicist and engineer whose accomplishments ranged from aviation and space to medicine and public policy, died on November 29, 2008, at the age of 95. He had been the founder and longtime director of the Avco-Everett Research Laboratory and was professor emeritus at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.
Arthur Kantrowitz was born in New York City (in the Bronx) on October 20, 1913, the eldest child of Bernard and Rose Kantrowitz. During his youth he developed a love of science in general and physics in particular. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and went on to study physics at Columbia University, receiving his B.S. in 1934 and M.A. in 1936. He then went to work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), at Langley Field in Virginia. One of the experiments he did while at NACA was the first known attempt of a thermonuclear fusion reaction. In 1938, Arthur and his supervisor, Eastman Jacobs, heated hydrogen with radio waves while constricting the gas with a magnetic field in order to achieve fusion. Although the experiment was not successful, and the project was canceled by the laboratory director before further attempts