Milton A. Rothman
|Milton A. Rothman|
|Born||November 30, 1919
|Died||October 6, 2001 (aged 81)
|Pen name||Lee Gregor|
|Occupation||Nuclear physicist, academic, science fiction fan, science fiction short story writer|
|Notable works||Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories, The Laws of Physics|
Rothman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended Central High School. He attended Oregon State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in engineering, and graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his doctorate in physics in 1952.
His complete science fiction stories were published posthumously in 2004 by Wildside Press with the title Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories edited by Darrell Schweitzer and Lee Weinstein.
Milton Rothman's son is science fiction writer Tony Rothman. His daughter, Lynne Lyon, LCSW, is an Attachment Therapist, and founder of the Attach-China-International Parent's Network.
After receiving his doctorate, Rothman spent the next seven years investigating nuclear energy at the Bartol Research Foundation in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. From 1959 until 1969, he worked at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on Project Matterhorn, which studied methods of heating ionized gas to very great temperatures. In 1963, while working in the laboratory, he wrote The Laws of Physics.
In 1969, Rothman joined the faculty at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). He retired from teaching in 1979.
He was an active science fiction fan from an early age. Besides co-founding the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, Rothman also organized the first Philcon science fiction convention in October 1936. The event consisted of 9 people, including future science fiction author/editors Frederik Pohl and Donald A. Wollheim, and was held, in part, in Rothman's home. Rothman published his fanzine "Milty's Mag" sporadically over a few years in the early forties. Rothman later chaired the 1947 and 1953 Philcons. The first Hugo award was presented at the 1953 Philcon.
In honor of Dr. Rothman's lifetime of work in science fiction fandom, his name was voted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1998.
Rothman was a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and published articles in the Skeptical Inquirer. In his book A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism (1988) Rothman applied the laws of physics to paranormal and pseudoscientific claims to show why they are, in fact, impossible. He wrote that proponents of pseudoscience like to claim "Anything's possible" but this claim is false as there are things which are logically impossible as they are self-contradictory and physically impossible because they violate well established laws.
- Plasma Physics (1962)
- The Laws of Physics (1963) ISBN 0-4650-3860-3
- Recent Events in Relativity (1965)
- Cybernetics: Machines that Make Decisions (1972)
- Discovering the Natural Laws: The Experimental Basis of Physics (1972) ISBN 0-486-26178-6
- A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism (1988) ISBN 0-87975-440-0
- The Science Gap: Dispelling the Myths and Understanding the Reality of Science (2003) ISBN 0-87975-710-8
- Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories by Milton Rothman, edited by Lee Weinstein and Darrell Schweitzer(2004)
- "M. Rothman, 81, scientist and writer". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- "Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories". Wildside Press.
- "Milton Rothman". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
- "A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism". Random House.
- Robert Cogan. (1998). Critical Thinking: Step by Step. University Press of America. pp. 159-160. ISBN 0-7618-1067-6