Hecht, Selig, 1892–1947, American biophysicist, b. Glogow, Austria (now Poland). He moved to the United States in 1898 and was graduated from the College of the City of New York (B.S., 1913) and from Harvard (Ph.D., 1917). After organizing the laboratory of biophysics at Columbia Univ., he was professor of biophysics there from 1926. He pioneered in applying physiochemical principles to sensory physiology and is known for his determination of minimal quantal requirements at the threshold of vision and for his successful laboratory regeneration of visual purple. An advocate of popular scientific education, he wrote Explaining the Atom (1947).
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