Charles S. Hastings

Charles S. Hastings

Charles S. Hastings was born in Clinton, New York, on November 27, 1848. He later moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he attended the Hartford High School. After graduation he enrolled in the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University in the fall of 1867. Hastings received a Ph.B from Yale in 1870 and then continued as a graduate student for three more years. He received his doctorate in 1873.

For the next three years Hastings traveled through Europe attending lectures by such prominent scientists as Herman von Helmholtz and Gustav Kirchoff. He joined the faculty of the new Johns Hopkins University in 1876 but left in 1883 to become professor of physics at the Sheffield Scientific School, New Haven, Conn.

Hastings’ optical design work and optical element production enabled much progress in astronomy at U.S. observatories. He authored several books including Light, A Consideration of the More Familiar Phenomena of Optics (1901) and New Methods in Geometrical Optics (1928).

Among his honors: APS and AAAS Fellow, member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society; Gold Medal, Paris Exposition 1900; and the Elliott Cresson Medal from the Franklin Institute Medal.

Hastings died on January 31, 1932.

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