Catch a Falling Star: A Life Discovering Our Universe

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iUniverse, Nov 10, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 600 pages
Catch a Falling Star, the life story of Donald Clayton, follows the struggle of one human being to find love and to create scientific understanding of the origin of the atoms of chemical elements. Born on an Iowa farm, son of an aviation pioneer, he became the first among his family to attend college, then graduate school in physics at Caltech. His three marriages reveal his battle with sexual anxiety and a sense of loss. At the same time he struggled to discover new knowledge about the creation of the atoms of our bodies and our earth. His close friendship with two great pioneers of the origin of matter enlivened his scientific life in the United States and Europe. His discoveries created two new fields of astronomy whose beginnings are featured in the book.

Claytons autobiography chronicles the exciting life that he lived on the frontier of the scientific discovery of the origin of the chemical elements within stars. His adventures centered on academic institutions: California Institute of Technology, Rice University, University of Cambridge, Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, and Clemson University. Catch a Falling Star tells how science and his love of it endowed his life with meaning.


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Chapter 1
Up and Away
A strange far land called Texas
School Days
Southern Methodist University
out on myown Texas once again Chapter 9 Getting theCall Chapter 10 Branching
The Astronomy of Radioactivity
Irish Troubles
and Icarus
Falling Stardust
for STARDUST Chapter 16 The Big Date
A Move toClemson University Chapter 19 On Calm

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About the author (2009)

DONALD D. CLAYTON is a recently retired professor of Physics and Astronomy from Clemson University. He received his PhD in Astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Nancy, a watercolor artist, live in Seneca, South Carolina, where their son graduates this year (2009) from Clemson University.

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