Virginia L. Trimble

picture of Virginia L. Trimble

Professor, Physics & Astronomy
School of Physical Sciences

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1968
M.S., California Institute of Technology, 1965
B.A., UCLA, 1964
M.A., University of Cambridge, UK, 1969
Dottora honoris causa, University of Valencia, Spain, 2010

Phone: (949) 824-6948
Fax: (949) 824-2174

University of California, Irvine
4156 Frederick Reines Hall
Mail Code: 4575
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the universe, and of the communities of scientists who study them; history of science; scientometrics
Research Abstract
Science has three parts: what we know about the world, how we know it, and why things are that way rather than some other. Introductory classes and research projects generally address the first, as do the “dark matter” and “Newton’s G” papers below, and a number of others published over the years. “How we know” is frequently part of the history of a subject, like the “fourth day” and “blurring” papers below and a number of other recent ones about black holes, cosmic ray physics, interferometry, and the age of the universe.

Why fields developed the way they did is also part of history, including the Biographical Encyclopedia and “international” below, and several papers with former UCI graduate student Jose A. Ceja on the impact of telescopes and the publication process. As for why the universe is the way it is, several answers are possible. My current favorite is the “multiverse concept,” not yet represented in publications but one of the topics being investigated for presentations at conferences.

Is 21st century astronomy itself exciting? Absolutely! But so also I find are some of the surrounding territories in history, scientometrics, and fundamental physics.
Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, T. Hockey, V. Trimble, et al. Editors, 2nd edition, Springer Reference, four volumes, 2014.
Blurring the Boundaries among Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics: The Moseley Centenary, V. Trimble, Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India, 49(4), 465-486, 2012.
Measurements of Newton’s Gravitational Constant and the Length of Day. J.A. Anderson, G. Schubert, V. Trimble, & M.R. Feldman, Europhysics Letters, 110(10002), 2015.
Fourth Day of Creation: The Proto-History of Young Stars, Star Streams, and Exoplanets in IAU Symposium 314, Young Stars and Planets Near the Sun, Ed. J.H. Kastner et al., Cambridge University Press, 1-7, 2016.
As International as They Would Let Us Be, V. Trimble, Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, 43, 244-258, 2015.
History of Dark Matter in Galaxies, in T.O. Oswalt, G. Gilmore, Eds. Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, Vol 5., pp. 1091–1121, Springer. 2013
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