Robert Hofstadter (February 5, 1915 November 17, 1990) was the winner of the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons."
He was born in New York City. His parents were Polish Jews who had emigrated to the United States at the turn of the century.
He entered City College of New York, and graduated with a B.S. degree magna cum laude in 1935 at the age of 20, and was awarded the Kenyon Prize in Mathematics and Physics.
He also received a Charles A. Coffin Foundation Fellowship from the General Electric Company, which enabled him to attend graduate school at Princeton University, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1938.
Hofstadter taught at Stanford University from 1950 to 1985. In his last few years he became interested in astrophysics and applied his knowledge of scintillators to the design of the EGRET gamma-ray telescope.
Robert Hofstadter is the father of the cognitive scientist and philosopher Douglas R. Hofstadter (born 1945), probably best known for his 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.
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