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Berman, Louis

Born London, England, 21 March 1903

Died San Francisco, California, USA, 31 January 1997

American astronomer and educator Louis Berman carried out the first detailed analysis of the spectrum of a star, which showed that it demonstrably had a different chemical composition from that of the Sun. That star, R Coronae Borealis, was very rich in carbon.

Louis Berman was the son of George and Jennie Berman, immigrants from Lithuania to England, who arrived in Saint Paul, Minnesota, when he was 3 years old. Berman entered the University of Minnesota where he earned his AB in 1925 and AM in 1927, and was also assistant at the observatory (1925-1927). He was then awarded a Lick Observatory Fellowship at the University of California where Berman earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1929. By then he had already published six papers, five of them dealing with double stars and one on the orbit and ephemeris of comet