Robert Finkelstein, professor emeritus in the department of physics and astronomy, is turning 100 this year.

Finkelstein earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1941, and was hired by UCLA in 1948.

“Although UCLA was very much in its infancy when I first came to it, I was convinced that it would become a major university,” he recalled. “The future looked very promising.”

At UCLA he conducted pioneering research in elementary particle theory, calculating the decay rates of the recently-discovered pi-meson and muon particles. During his long career he has contributed to general relativity, the theory of weak interactions and models for elementary particles based on the mathematical description of knots.

A young Robert Finkelstein

Finkelstein retired in 1986, but has remained quite active. His first publication was in 1940, and his most recent was in 2015.

The department of physics and astronomy is celebrating with a Finkelstein Centennial at UCLA’s Faculty Center on Saturday, April 2. The day’s activities will include talks, which are open to the public beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a private dinner. Please see this website to register and for more information.