Scholar Program: Professor of astronomy and physics
Dr. Fisher joined the Lycoming College Astronomy and Physics Department in 1984, just one year after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware and immediately following completion of a year as a post-graduate fellow for the Bartol Research Foundation of the Franklin Institute. Dr. Fisher’s research areas include condensed matter physics, radiation damage in crystalline and amorphous materials at low temperature, and space flight history. He has authored over 75 articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed research articles, technical journals, popular media, reference works; and has even published a few poems.
Two of his largest works were for Salem Press:
A. During a sabbatical in Fall 2005 Dr. Fisher completed a project as co-editor for the Third Edition of USA in Space, working with noted space flight historian Russell R. Tobia; Dr. Fisher was also a major contributor on all three editions of this referenced work which covers the full spectrum of American space flight history, both robotic spacecraft and crewed missions through space shuttle flight STS-114. Dr. Fisher focused on editing the articles that dealt with unpiloted spacecraft, whereas Tobias edited the manned space flight articles.
B. Between 2008 and 2009 Dr. Fisher collaborated with fellow department member Dr. Richard R. Erickson to co-edit the Second Edition of Solar System. Dr. Fisher and Dr. Erickson both had to compose a set of new articles to update the work in the second edition as well as perform extensive editorial changes; Dr. Fisher concentrated on articles concerning non-terrestrial subjects, while Dr. Erickson co-edited and composed new articles on Earthly subjects.
In addition, Dr. Fisher as participated in several projects coordinated out of the Johnson Space Center History Office. He was part of a team of space flight historians who set up a CD database on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo manned missions, joined an international team selected by NASA to correct the air-to-ground transcript of the Apollo 11 first lunar landing mission, and helped assemble some CD collections of transcripts from the first few shuttle missions.
Dr. Fisher has developed a new course that in time became part of the department’s relatively new astrophysics program. In connection with students enrolled in the Invisible Universe course, a set of three microwave background radiometers were constructed, and work is in progress to build a portable radio telescope designed to study decametric radiations from Jupiter.
During his most recent sabbatical Dr. Fisher was able to take a short course on atomic bomb development provided in conjunction with the Chautauqua program and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Atomic Museum located in Albuquerque; this experience brought him in contact with a number of surviving members of the Manhattan Project and included visits to Los Alamos and the Trinity Bomb site where the first atomic device was detonated.
Dr. Fisher is currently working on extensive histories of Gemini program flight operations, the Russian Mir space station, and space shuttle program flight operations as well as is in the midst of instituting, along with his fellow colleagues, major changes in departmental infrastructure to best integrate a suite of new laboratory instrumentation made possible by a grant from the Alden Foundation.