Philip E. Barnhart, 1930-2017

barnhart

I regret to inform the Otterbein Physics community of the passing of Philip E. Barnhart on June 19, 2017.  Phil was a member of the physics faculty from 1959 until his retirement in 1995.  An astronomer by training, he was an energetic and popular teacher, as well as an outstanding mentor of students and junior faculty members.  He chaired the Physics Department for many years, and was instrumental in the development of its programs and faculty.  In addition, he was a leader in the original creation of the Integrative Studies program, as well as the Science Lecture Series, in collaboration with Prof. Jerry Jenkins of the Chemistry Department.

He was a founding member and Coordinator of the North American Astrophysical Observatory (NAAPO), an organization chartered to save and continue operation of the “Big Ear” Radio Observatory in Delaware, OH.

Phil was intellectually active until the end.  In 2012 he published Creative Science, an historical and philosophical survey of scientific discovery.  His last visit to Otterbein (in April 2013) was a talk about the book, and his ideas on how science should be taught and understood.

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