AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 31 History of Astronomy
HAD Posters, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[31.01] West-Side Story

L. S. Marochnik (Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, retired)

This paper deals with the history of Density-Wave Spiral Theories in the 1960s. The motivation to write the paper was the publication of two papers on the history of these theories (Pasha 2004a, b). Pasha’s papers tell only a part of the story that took place on the Western side of the Iron Curtain in the 1960s. But giving only a part of the full story is a distortion of historical truth. Important work done on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain is still little known in the West. In this paper, I fill the gaps and correct chronological inaccuracies in Pasha’s story and mention facts that are still unknown (or little known) to the astronomical community in the West. I also give my recollection of the development of Density-Wave Spiral Theories in the 1960s. The paper gives examples of important results in the theory of density waves in galaxies that are mistakenly attributed to C. C. Lin, F. H. Shu, Y.Y. Lau, C. Yuan and others, meanwhile they were obtained earlier by L. Marochnik, A. Suchkov and others. Below is another example. Both “famous” paper of Lin, Yuan and Shu (1969) and Marochnik and Suchkov (1969a) have appeared simultaneously in March of 1969. Both papers dealt, in particular, with the comparison of theory with observations. However, in the frame of their WKB approximation, Lin, Yuan and Shu (1969) employed an incorrect approach. It was a direct consequence of Marochnik and Suchkov (1969a) analysis and led to the far-going consequences. The paper has been published at the http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0501170 web site.

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