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Henry Lincoln Yeagley, Sr. (1899–1996)

Published onJan 01, 1997
Henry Lincoln Yeagley, Sr. (1899–1996)

Henry L. Yeagley, Sr., died at his home in State College, Pennsylvania on 26 December 1996. He was a true son of the Keystone State, born in York, PA on 17 July 1899. His first employment was as a chemist with York Manufacturing Co. (1919-1922), apparently a secure enough job to permit his marriage in 1920 (from which three children were born). He then returned to school, earning BS (1925), MS (1927), and PhD (1934) degrees in physics and astronomy from Pennsylvania State University. Yeagley was simultaneously and thereafter a member of the Penn State faculty as associate professor of physics from 1925 to 1958, before moving to Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), where he was Joseph Priestly Professor of Natural Philosophy and of Physics and Astronomy until his retirement in the 1970's.

Yeagley worked for the US Army Signal Corps during World War II, on a project that led to two publications (in 1947 and 1951) on the physical basis of bird navigation. He focused on magnetic fields and Coriolis forces, and the papers were still being cited 40 years after they were written. Yeagley joined the AAS in 1974, about the time he retired. At least one of his former students, Donald Neidig of Sac Peak Observatory, is currently an AAS member. He was also at various times a member of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Although he let most of these memberships lapse, he maintained his association with AAS until the time of his death, when he was, almost certainly, our most senior member. He is survived by his son, Henry L. Yeagley, Jr.

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