Adams, Walter Sydney (1876 - 1956)
W. S. Adams was born on the 20. December 1876 in Kessab near Antiochia, Syria. After his studies between 1894 and 1898 he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1898 from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts in 1900 from the University of Chicago. A D.Sc. followed from Columbia in 1926 and a doctor of law in 1926 from Pomona. After spending a year in Munich, Germany, he went to Yerkes observatory as assistant in 1901, was promoted assistant astronomer in 1904, astronomer in 1909 and was director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory from 1923 until 1946.
His most important contribution to astronomy is the development of a spectroscopic method to determine stellar distances. W. S. Adams identified Sirius B as the first white dwarf star known. A list of his work is in Pogg. Vol. 6, part 1 (1936), p. 22.
He died on the 11. May 1956 in Pasadena, California. He is honored by the minor planet (3145) Walter Adams. Also a Moon crater is named Adams.
Pogg., Vol. VIIb, part 1, p. 22; also Vol. VI, part 1, p. 22
Dictionary of Minor Planets, 2. Edition, by Lutz D. Schmadel, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Moon Atlas, A. Rukl, Verlag Werner Dausien, Hanau.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 1 (1970), p. 45- , incl. Bibliography.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 1 (1980), p. 54-58, incl. Bibliography.
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