Obituary | Edgar A. Pearlstein

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Obituary | Edgar A. Pearlstein

Edgar Aaron Pearlstein
Edgar Aaron Pearlstein

Edgar A. Pearlstein, 91, of Lincoln, died Jan. 15. He was a longtime professor of physics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Pearlstein was born to Charles and Sophie Hannah (Siegal) Pearlstein in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 3, 1927. He earned a doctorate in physics from Carnegie-Mellon University when he was 23 years old.

Pearlstein held a post-doctoral position at the University of Illinois for two years before returning to teach and conduct research at Carnegie-Mellon.

In 1954, Pearlstein married Laura Hyland, a librarian at Carnegie-Mellon. Two years later, he joined the physics department at the University of Nebraska as an associate professor. He progressed rapidly through the faculty ranks, becoming a full professor in 1963.

Pearlstein’s research specialty was the effects of radiation on solids. His work was national recognized and Pearlstein once held the longest-running, continuous research grant funded by the Atomic Energy Commission.

His recognitions include being named a fellow of the American Physical Society and earning the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981.

Pearlstein was an active participant in scientific lectures in the physics department and regularly delivered talks on research research developments. An excellent, but demanding teacher, he worked with graduate students, pushing them into new areas of study. Pearlstein also developed new courses at Nebraska and greatly modified others.

Besides his professional activities, Edgar was in frequent contact with the community via Letters to the Editor which became an avocation for him. He was especially interested in human rights and religious freedom issues. He was also active in the community band and was a Dixieland jazz aficionado.

Pearlstein is survived by his daughter, Victoria, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; grandson Erik Martin of Denver; granddaughter Gerri Lynn (Tracy) Wells of Council Bluffs, Iowa; six great grandchildren; 14 great-great grandchildren; and his ex-wife. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, sister, and son, Leonard.

Memorials are requested to the Capital Humane Society, 6500 S. 70th Street, Lincoln, NE, 68502. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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