February 3, 1910–February 18, 1970
BY PETER H. BODENHEIMER
LOUIS HENYEY, ONE OF THE eminent members of the faculty of the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, during the period 1947-70, is best known for his pioneering research in the field of stellar structure and evolution. The numerical technique he developed for the solution of the equations of stellar structure, known worldwide as the Henyey method, resulted in breakthroughs in research and has since become the standard tool in the field.
His interests included a variety of other problems in theoretical astrophysics and ranged from diffuse interstellar matter to radiative transfer to nuclear physics to cosmological models. He had practical interests in astronomical spectroscopy, optical design, and electronic computing. He played an important part in the education of graduate students and, as a teacher, he was characterized by exacting standards as well as warm relationships with his students. Major administrative posts included service as chairman of the Berkeley Astronomy Department, director of the Leuschner Observatory, director of the Berkeley computer center, and president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1968.
Louis Henyey was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania,