One of England's leading astrophysicists. Thomas Gold, will become a professor of Astronomy here on Feb. 1, Dean Bundy announced yesterday. Gold is at present Visiting Professor at Cornell University, where he has been teaching cosmic radiation and radio-astronomy.
He is one of England's Cambridge group of cosmologists which put forward the thesis of continuous creation of matter in the universe. Gold has also been responsible for a number of mechanical explanations of physical phenomena, having worked out the mechanics of a possible shifting of the north and south poles. The shifting of the pole is one hypothesis advanced to explain how ice once covered regions now in the tropics.
Gold has also demonstrated the possibility that dark regions on the moon are great dust layers, rather than massive flows of lava and has advanced an explanation of their origin. These dust clouds could have been formed, he said, by the constant bombardment of meteors pulverizing the surface.
For the past four years Gold has been Chief Assistant to the Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, making important studies of cosmic rays. He entered astronomy less than ten years ago, for until then he had been studying the ear's ability to analyze sound waves by their frequency. His first paper in astronomy was "The Steady-State Theory of the Expanding Universe," in collaboration with H. Bondi, in 1948.
Gold was born in Austria in 1920, but now is a citizen of Great Britain. He received the A.B. degree in Mechanical Science from Cambridge University in 1942, the M.A. degree in 1946 and became a Fellow of Trinity College in 1947.
Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkin, chairman of the Department of Astronomy, said yesterday that the exact nature of his work here has not yet been decided, but that he will probably teach a course next semester relating to some aspect of his recent research.