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Joel R. Primack

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Joel R. Primack

Joel R. Primack

Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Joel R. Primack, Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, specializes in the formation and evolution of galaxies and the nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the matter in the universe. Primack received his A.B. from Princeton in 1966 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1970. After helping to create what is now called the "Standard Model" of particle physics, Primack began working in cosmology in the late 1970s and he became a leader in the new field of particle astrophysics. He is one of the principal originators and developers of the theory of Cold Dark Matter, which has become the basis for the standard modern picture of structure formation in the universe.

Primack was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 1988. He has won awards for his research from the A. P. Sloan Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 1995 Primack was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has served on the board of the Federation of American Scientists and was a founder of the Union of Concerned Scientists. With Nancy Ellen Abrams, he co-authored The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos(Riverhead, 2006) and The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World (Yale, 2011).

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