1931-, Italian-American astrophysicist, b. Milan, Italy, Ph.D. Univ. of Milan 1954. He was a researcher at American Science and Engineering Corporation (1959-73), professor at Harvard (1973-81), director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Johns Hopkins (1981-92), director general of the European Southern Observatory in Germany (1992-99), and president of Associated Universities, Inc. (1999-2004). In 2004, he was appointed professor at Johns Hopkins. Giacconi was co-recipient, with Masatoshi Koshiba
and Raymond Davis
, of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering contributions to astrophysics. Giacconi discovered X-ray sources outside the solar system, including background X-radiation and black holes; his discoveres and work on instruments that identified those discoveries laid the foundations for the field of X-ray astronomy
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