Submitted Successfully!
To reward your contribution, here is a gift for you: A free trial for our video production service.
Thank you for your contribution! You can also upload a video entry or images related to this topic.
Version Summary Created by Modification Content Size Created at Operation
1 handwiki -- 772 2022-11-24 01:39:24 |
2 update layout Meta information modification 750 2022-11-24 04:49:57 | |
3 update layout Meta information modification 750 2022-11-24 04:50:26 |

Video Upload Options

Do you have a full video?


Are you sure to Delete?
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
HandWiki. Wendy Freedman. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 25 June 2024).
HandWiki. Wendy Freedman. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 25, 2024.
HandWiki. "Wendy Freedman" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 25, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 24). Wendy Freedman. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Wendy Freedman." Encyclopedia. Web. 24 November, 2022.
Wendy Freedman
cosmology astrophysics astronomy

1. Introduction

Wendy Laurel Freedman (born July 17, 1957) is a Canadian-American astronomer, best known for her measurement of the Hubble constant, and as director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and Las Campanas, Chile. She is now the John & Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Chicago.[1] Her principal research interests are in observational cosmology, focusing on measuring both the current and past expansion rates of the universe, and on characterizing the nature of dark energy.

2. Early Life and Career

Freedman grew up in a culturally Jewish family in Toronto,[2] the daughter of a medical doctor and a concert pianist.[3] Her early interest in science was kindled by a formative high-school physics class. This led her to the University of Toronto, where she was first a biophysics student, then an astronomy major, receiving her B.Sc. in 1979.[4] She remained at Toronto for her graduate work, receiving a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics in 1984.[5] Joining the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, as a post-doctoral fellow in 1984, she became a faculty member of the scientific staff three years later as the first woman to join Carnegie's permanent staff. In 2003 she was named to the Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair and Director of Carnegie Observatories.[6] Freedman's early work was principally on the Cepheid distance scale.

3. Hubble Constant

Freedman was co-leader of an international team of 30 astronomers to carry out the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project, a program aiming to establish the distance scale of the Universe and measure the current expansion rate, a quantity known as the Hubble constant. This quantity determines the size of the visible universe and is key to determining its age. Over the course of the Key Project, the team measured the distances to 24 galaxies using Cepheid variable stars, and measured the Hubble constant using five independent methods. The project's researchers, led by Freedman, published their final result in 2001.[4][7] The work provided a value of the Hubble constant accurate to 10%, resolving a long-standing, factor-of-two debate.

4. Giant Magellan Telescope

Freedman initiated the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Project and served as chair of the board of directors from its inception in 2003 until 2015. GMT is an international consortium of leading universities and science institutions to build a 25-meter optical telescope at the Carnegie Institution for Science's Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean Andes. With a primary mirror 80 feet (24 meters) in diameter, the GMT is poised to be the world's largest ground-based telescope when it is completed. The telescope, which has entered its construction phase and is expected to become fully operational by 2024, will be able to produce images 10 times sharper than those of the Hubble Space Telescope.

5. Recognition

Freedman with the American ambassador to Chile in 2009.

Freedman has been elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences,[8] the American Philosophical Society,[9] a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.[1]

She has received several awards for her contributions to observational cosmology, including a Centennial Lectureship of the American Physical Society (1999), the John P. McGovern Award in Science (2000),[6] the Magellanic Premium Award of the American Philosophical Society (2002)[10] and the Marc Aaronson Lectureship and prize (1994) "in recognition of a decade of fundamental contributions to the areas of the extra galactic distance scale and the stellar populations of galaxies".[11] In 2009 Freedman was one of three co-recipients of the Gruber Cosmology Prize.[12] She received the 2016 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics,[13] awarded jointly by the American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society, "for her outstanding contributions and leadership role in using optical and infrared space- and ground-based observations of Cepheid stars, together with innovative analysis techniques, to greatly improve the accuracy of the cosmic distance scale and thereby constrain fundamental cosmological parameters."[14]

She was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society in 2020 [15]

Asteroid 107638 Wendyfreedman, discovered by David Healy at the Junk Bond Observatory in 2001, was named in her honor.[16] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 6 January 2007 (M.P.C. 58597).[17]

6. Personal Life

Freedman is married to longtime collaborator Barry F. Madore. They have two children. [3][18]

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Koppes, Steve (7 August 2014). "Wendy Freedman, world-leading astronomer, joins UChicago faculty" (in en). Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  2. Miriam Coleman, Voyagers, Tablet Magazine, February 24, 2011; Maureen Searcy, Cosmic cuisine, The University of Chicago Magazine, 110,4 (December 21, 2016).
  3. Amy Ellis Nutt, "Will the universe disappear, or does a mysterious force have other plans for it?" The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ (December 5, 2002)
  4. National Academy of Sciences, "InterViews: Wendy L. Freedman"
  5. Carnegie Institution, "The Carnegie Observatories: Director"
  6. Elizabeth H. Oakes, Encyclopedia of World Scientists, "Wendy Freedman"
  7. Freedman, W. L. et al. (2001), "Final Results from the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project to Measure the Hubble Constant", Astrophysical Journal 553 (1): 47–72, doi:10.1086/320638, Bibcode: 2001ApJ...553...47F
  8.,+National Academy of Sciences -. "Wendy L. Freedman". 
  9. "APS Member History". 
  10. Sigma Xi, "American Scientist On-Line: Wendy Freedman"
  11. Thompson, David J. (9 March 2016). "Measurement of Cosmological Parameters - Wendy Freedman". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  12. "Wendy L. Freedman | The Gruber Foundation". 
  13. "Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics | American Astronomical Society". 
  14. Koppes, Steve (20 January 2016). "Wendy Freedman to receive Heineman Prize for Astrophysics" (in en). Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  15. "AAS Fellows". AAS. Retrieved 27 September 2020. 
  16. "107638 Wendyfreedman (2001 EU13)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 8 August 2019. 
  17. "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 8 August 2019. 
  18. Corbis Images, Galactic Astronomers"
Name: Wendy Freedman
Born: Jul 1957
Title: Astronomer
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Contributor MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to :
View Times: 980
Entry Collection: HandWiki
Revisions: 3 times (View History)
Update Date: 24 Nov 2022
Video Production Service