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is a science writer specializing in physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...
Overbye received his B.S. in physics from M.I.T.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...
—where he was a member of the Alpha Mu chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma
Phi Kappa Sigma is an international all-male college social fraternity. Its members are known as "Phi Kaps", "Skulls" and sometimes "Skullhouse", the latter two because of the skull and crossbones on the Fraternity's badge and coat of arms. Phi Kappa Sigma was founded by Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie...
—in 1966. He started work towards a master's degree in astronomy from U.C.L.A. in 1970.
Overbye started his career by working as a scientist for Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...
and then other companies. In 1976 he became assistant editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. From 1976 to 1980 he was a senior editor at Discover
Magazine. Subsequently he embarked on a freelance career, during which time he published articles in Time
Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top scientific journals....
, The Los Angeles Times
, and The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...
, among other publications.
He has written two books: Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos
, about scientists and their quest to understand the universe, and Einstein in Love
, dealing with Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...
's youth and the controversy surrounding the degree to which Einstein's first wife, Mileva Marić
Mileva Marić was one of the first women to study mathematics and physics in Europe...
, contributed to the theory of relativity. He joined the staff of The New York Times
in 1998 as deputy science editor, then switched to full-time writing.
Overbye lives in New York City with his wife, Nancy Wartik, and their daughter Mira Overbye.
- Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe, Harper-Collins (1991), ISBN 0060159642 & ISBN 0330295853 (finalist, Nation Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction). Second edition (with new afterword), Back Bay, 1999.
- Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance, Viking (2000), ISBN 0670894303
- American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics promotes science, the profession of physics, publishes physics journals, and produces publications for scientific and engineering societies. The AIP is made up of various member societies...
Science Writing Award, 1980 and 1992
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...
Science Journalism Award, 2005 (for large newspaper writing)