Doctoral students Tom Dame
Name Patrick Thaddeus
|Institutions Harvard UniversityColumbia UniversityGoddard Institute for Space Studies|
Known for CfA 1.2 m Millimeter-Wave Telescope
Alma mater Columbia University, University of Oxford, University of Delaware
Notable awards Herschel Medal, Fulbright Program
Institution Harvard University, Columbia University, Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Doctoral advisor Charles H. Townes
Books That Shaped America: Stranger in a Strange Land
Patrick Thaddeus (June 6, 1932 – April 28, 2017) was the Robert Wheeler Willson Professor of Applied Astronomy Emeritus at Harvard University. He is best known for mapping the Milky Way galaxy in Carbon Monoxide and was responsible for the construction of the CfA 1.2 m Millimeter-Wave Telescope.
- Books That Shaped America Stranger in a Strange Land
- Personal life
- Honors and awards
- Professional Memberships
- Advisory Committees
Thaddeus graduated from University of Delaware in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship through which he attended the University of Oxford, graduating with a Master's degree in theoretical physics in 1955. His doctoral work was at Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. under Charles Hard Townes in 1960 with a thesis titled Beam Maser Spectroscopy.
After earning his doctorate, Thaddeus stayed at Columbia University as a research associate in the Columbia Radiation Laboratory until 1961, when he took a position working for NASA at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where he remained until 1986. He also taught at Columbia University during that period, from 1965 until 1986. It was during his time at Columbia that the CfA 1.2 m Millimeter-Wave Telescope was built. In 1986, Thaddeus (along with the 1.2 meter telescope and other scientists on the team) moved to Harvard, where he remained for the rest of his teaching career and remained Professor Emeritus until his death in April 2017.
Thaddeus held a few other teaching positions during his career at institutions including State University of New York, Stony Brook (1966–1967), University of California, Berkeley (1968), and University of Cambridge (1983–1984).
Thaddeus and his colleagues designed a radio telescope custom-built for the task of mapping the entire Milky Way in CO. The 1.2 meter Millimeter-Wave Telescope was designed with a relatively small dish and consequently a relatively large beamwidth of about 1/8 degree, which can be likened to a wide-angle lens. With this new instrument, it suddenly became possible to map large stretches of sky in relatively small amounts of time. The telescope is nicknamed "The Mini" because of its unusually small size. Together, "The Mini" and its twin in Chile have obtained what is by far the most extensive, uniform, and widely used Galactic survey of interstellar carbon monoxide (CO).
Harvard astronomer Tom Dame, in collaboration with Thaddeus, discovered the Far 3 kpc Arm of the Milky Way.
Thaddeus married the former Janice Farrar (daughter of John Chipman Farrar and Margaret Petherbridge Farrar) in 1963. Janice Farrar Thaddeus was a scholar, poet, editor, and former Harvard lecturer in English; she died in 2001 at the age of 68. They have two children: Eva and Michael.
Thaddeus authored or co-authored more than three hundred research papers and more than twenty invited papers in astronomy and physics.