A Conversation With Cosmologist Wolfgang Rindler
Physicist and Dedicated Educator Traces America’s Interest in Space Science
to an Era in U.S. History That Also Gave Rise to the University of Texas at Dallas
We sat down for A Conversation With... Cosmologist and Professor of Physics Wolfgang Rindler.
Rindler began his career at UT Dallas in 1963, when the organization was called the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. Through nearly five decades of service to the University and its predecessors, Dr. Rindler has authored or co-authored seven books, advanced the study of cosmology and general relativity and ignited the imagination of thousands of students. His studies on the universe, how it moves and how Einstein’s theories apply are cited worldwide.
During our visit, Dr. Rindler shared his thoughts on:
- His nearly 50 years of combined service to UT Dallas and its predecessor institutions, the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest and the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies.
- Cosmology, relativity and the impact of Einstein’s theories.
- How teaching continues to inspire and enthuse him.
- Becoming an American citizen at age 85.
“ I arrived in Dallas in September 1963, and…in November, Kennedy’s visit to Dallas was planned. Kennedy was aware of the Southwest Center, and in fact, he was going to give a speech here in Dallas about the future of science. ... He was going to spend quite a lot of time within his speech on our Center. [Losing Kennedy] was a terrible shock because the enthusiasm for science, in those days…radiated away from Kennedy. We realized already at that point that the loss of Kennedy would really be, in the end, bad for science. …The human tragedy of it all just seemed overwhelming.”
— Dr. Wolfgang Rindler
on President John F. Kennedy’s impact
on America’s passion for science