George Blumenthal (astrophysicist)


George R. Blumenthal (born 1945) is an American astrophysicist, astronomer, professor, and academic administrator. He was the tenth chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

George R. Blumenthal
Tenth Chancellor of the
University of California, Santa Cruz
In office
July 14, 2006 (2006-07-14) – June 30, 2019 (2019-06-30)
Preceded byDenice Denton
Succeeded byCynthia Larive
Personal details
Born (1945-10-20) October 20, 1945 (age 76)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Spouse(s)Kelly Weisberg
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
University of California, San Diego
Professionastrophysicist, astronomer, professor
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Santa Cruz
ThesisThe astrophysical applications of various high-energy electromagnetic phenomena (1971)
Doctoral advisorRobert J. Gould


Blumenthal was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 20, 1945,[1] to Lillian and Marcel Blumenthal, the owners of a small Venetian blinds operation. He was interested in science at a very early age and recalls the launch of the Soviet Sputnik I satellite in 1957.[2] Blumenthal holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, San Diego.[2][1]

Blumenthal is known particularly for his work with Santa Cruz colleagues Sandra M. Faber and Joel Primack and with Martin Rees of Cambridge University on dark matter.[3] Their theory of cold dark matter, developed in the 1980s, remains the standard explanation of the formation of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Blumenthal has also worked in many other areas of astrophysics, including the study of gamma-ray bursts, accretion disks, active galaxies, and the microwave background radiation left by the Big Bang.[2]

Blumenthal was the chair of the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate from 2001 to 2003 and served one year each as Vice Chair and Chair of the University of California Academic Senate. He succeeded Denice Denton as UCSC chancellor in 2006 after her suicide. Blumenthal stepped down as chancellor at the end of June 2019 to resume work in Astronomy and to work part time at the U.C. Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education. He was succeeded as chancellor by Cynthia Larive.[4]

He co-authored of two textbooks, 21st Century Astronomy and Understanding Our Universe, and has written more than 75 scientific publications.[2]

George Blumenthal is a member of the American University of Armenia Corporation Board of Trustees.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Blumenthal is married to UC Hastings professor of law Kelly Weisberg, with whom he has two children.[6]


  1. ^ a b Blumenthal, George Ray (1971). The astrophysical applications of various high-energy electromagnetic phenomena (Ph.D. thesis). University of California, San Diego. OCLC 17293740 – via ProQuest.
  2. ^ a b c d "George Blumenthal". Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. ^ Blumenthal; et al. (11 Oct 1984). "Formation of galaxies and large-scale structure with cold dark matter". Nature. 311 (5986): 517–525. Bibcode:1984Natur.311..517B. doi:10.1038/311517a0. OSTI 1447148. S2CID 4324282.
  4. ^ Ibarra, Nicholas (June 1, 2019). "Goodbye Blumenthal: UCSC's longtime leader reflects on legacy on eve of retirement". Santa Cruz Sentinel.
  5. ^ American University of Armenia Corporation Board of Trustees
  6. ^ "Associate of the Chancellor Weisberg's biography". UC Santa Cruz. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  • Regents and Officers of the University of California (6 June 2008). "Inaugural Programme for George R. Blumenthal" (PDF). University of California, Santa Cruz. Archived from the original (.PDF) on 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2008-11-30. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • UCSC Reunion Luncheon Interrupted to Demand Fair Wages for Workers

External linksEdit

  • UCSC Chancellor's web site
  • research web site
  • "Meet George Blumenthal, UC Santa Cruz", Web page on the site of the Joint venture Silicon Valley Network
Academic offices
Preceded by 10th Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz
2006 – 2019
Succeeded by