Virginia L. Trimble

Professor of Physics & Astronomy
(949) 824-6948
4156 Frederick Reines Hall

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1968
M.A., University of Cambridge, 1969
M.S., California Institute of Technology, 1965
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1964

It has been claimed (probably mostly by historians) that those who will not study history are doomed to repeat it.  This cannot quite be true for history of science.  No one will again ever write Newton’s Laws of Motion for the first time, at least not in our part of the multiverse.  What, then, can we hope to learn by studying history of science?  Several things, perhaps most important that it is not only the Newtons and Einsteins who are essential to progress.  Several of the listed publications deal with the work of scientists you have probably never heard of.  A couple of others are plain, old observational astronomy, which is where I started 50-some years ago.  Is there a “level playing field” for prospective scientists?  Of course not, no more so than in any other human endeavor.  And yes, it is still something of an advantage to be male.  But a significant reason that astronomers and physicists over the years turn to the history of their subjects is that we discover things we remember as “current events” (perhaps even participated in) have become “history of science.” And there are a couple of publications in those territories as well.
2022-23: B.J.T. Jones, V.A.Martinez, & V. Trimble.  The Reinvention of Science (in the hands of World Scientific).
2022: V. Trimble & D. Weintraub Eds.  The Sky is for Everyone (autobiographical chapters by women astronomers, including VT + historical material).  Due out from Princeton University Press in June, 2022.
2021: VT, The Origin and Evolution of the Chemical Elements, in M.A. Malkan & B. Zuckerman Eds, Origin and Evolution of the Universe, from Big Bang to Exobiology (second edition), World Scientific, p. 110-159 of Japanese translation; p. 63-94 of 2020 English edition.
2021: VT, Astronomy meets the periodic table, or, how much is there of what, and why?  In V.V. Mainz, & G.S. Girolami, Editors, 150 Years of the Periodic Table, Springer, p. 387-407.
2020: K. Horstman & VT  Correlation of the time from submission to acceptance of astronomical papers with gender of the lead author.  Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 52, 0204. 
2020: VT, obituaries of E. Margaret Burbidge (Nature 580, 586 and Observatory 140, 213-223) and of Lodewijk Woltjer (Observatory 140, 74-80, and BAAS 52, 0306).
2020: H. Boffin & VT My Companion is Bigger than Your Companion, Observatory 140, 1-10, 
2019: J Cohen, S. Kayser, A.V. Peterson, A. Sargent, VT (communicating author), & D. Weistrop, Uncle Jesse and the Seven Early Career Ladies of the Night, American Journal of Physics, 87, No. 10.778-783.
2019: K. Horstman & VT, A Citation History of Measurements of Newton’s Constant of Gravity:  arXiv 1811.10556v1, Scientometrics 119, 527-541.
2019: VT, Marietta Blau:  A Near but Justifiable Miss?  In V. Mainz & T. Strom Eds. The Posthumous Prize in Chemistry (American Chemical Society) Vol. 2, Ladies in Waiting, pp. 67-104
2019: VT, International Cooperation in Astronomy before the IAU, in C. Sterken et al. Eds. Under One Sky: The IAU Centenary Symposium, Proc.  IAUS 349, p. 228-233 Inst. of Physics.
2018: VT  What are the Wild Waves Saying?  International Journal of Modern Physics D, 27, #4, issue 14:  DOI 19, 1142/S03283718300094.
2018: VT  Impact of World War I on General Relativity [in three parts]:  Observatory 138, 46-59, 98-116, and 203-226.
2017: Old/Past/Ancient/Historic Frontiers in Black Hole Astrophysics in A. Gomboc Ed. IAU Symp. 324, New Frontiers in Black Hole Astrophysics, Cambridge University Press p 1-7.
2016: The Quest for Frozen Stars in Single-Line Spectroscopic Binaries in R. van de Weygaert et al. Eds. IAU Symposium 308, The Zeldovich Universe, Cambridge University Press, p. 38-45.
*And a couple dozen book reviews
American Astronomical Society (member 1965)
    Fellow, inaugural class, 2019
    Patron, 2018
    George Van Biesbroeck Prize, 2010
    Working Group on Preservation and Heritage, member, 2013-present
American Physical Society (Fellow, 1988)
    Council, representing FHPP, 2019-2021
    Historic Sites Committee, 2019-2021, Chair 2021
    Committee on the International Freedom of Scientists 2021-2024
International Astronomical Union (member 1973)
    Asteroid 9271 Trimble, 2018
    President, Commission G-1, Binary & Multiple Systems of Stars, 2018-2021
    Organizing Committee, Commission  C-3, History of Astronomy, 2021-2024
    Liaison to Commission 19, Astrophysics, of International Union of Pure & Applied Physics, 
American Institute of Physics
    Andrew Gemant Award, 2019
American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow 1982)
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society (member 1969)
    Fellow, 2021
    UCI Chapter 803 Officer Corps, 2010-2020
Phi Beta Kappa (elected 1960)
    UCI Chapter, Mu of California, Historian, 2013-present
American Association of Variable Star Observers
    William Tyler Olcott Distinguished Service Award, 2018
Geological Society of America
American Chemical Society
American Association of Physics Teachers
National Society of Black Physicists
European Astronomical Society
European Physical Society
Royal Astronomical Society (foreign associate)
Astronomische Gesellschaft
History of Science Society
Society for the History of Astronomy (UK)
Faculty Assistant: 
Jan Strudwick,, (949) 287-3922