David C. Cassidy

Cassidy headshot
Born in Richmond, Virginia, David C. Cassidy grew up in Detroit and New Jersey. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics at Rutgers University and his doctorate in a joint Purdue University (physics) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (history of science) program. After a year as a post-doctoral fellow in history of science at UC-Berkeley, he lived for six years in Germany, first as a Humboldt Fellow in history of science at the University of Stuttgart, then as an assistant professor in the chair for history of science at the University of Regensburg.

Cassidy returned to the US as associate editor of
The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, then located in Princeton and Boston. He joined the faculty of Hofstra University in 1990. In 1992 he published the award-winning biography Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg. He published J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century in 2004. Cassidy is also the author of Einstein and Our World, Understanding Physics, and A Short History of Physics in the American Century. Recently he began writing science history plays, the first of which premiered in New York in 2014; it will be published in his new book Farm Hall and the German Atomic Project of WWII: A Dramatic History.

Cassidy is the recipient of the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society, the Science Writing Award of the American Institute of Physics, the Abraham Pais Prize of the American Physical Society, and an honorary doctorate of science awarded by Purdue University.


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