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James Faller Collection

Identifier: COU:593

Scope and Contents

The James Faller collection contains evidence of his lifelong dedication to the exploration of fundamental constants and precision measurements as they apply to physics. The bulk of the collection contains mostly documents relating to the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiments and letters, books, and articles relating to the Apollo missions.

An extensive collection of photographs from the Apollo missions is also found in this collection. Ranging from the late 1960’s to the late 1980’s. The photos are mostly moon shots from rangers and satellites used in the LLR program. There are also a few transparencies and photographs of the LICK observatory in California and Dr. Fallers graduate students and research assistants. Schematics of various telescopes and the reflector array can also be found in this collection

The collection concludes with oversize materials of wall hanging and poster relating to lunar experiments and the Apollo 11 mission photos.


  • 1960 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Note

Dr. James Faller received a A.B. degree from Indiana University in 1955 and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1963.

He has received many awards throughout his career including the Joseph F. Keithley Award, 2001; Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Award, 1992; Department of Commerce Gold medal, 1990; NASA Group Achievement Award and also NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 1973; Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 1972-1973; National Bureau of Standards Precision Measurement Award, 1970; And Arnold O. Beckman Award of the Instrument Society of America, 1970.

Beginning his career as an Associate Professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, he worked on gravitational and other precision measurements. In 1972 he became a National Institute of Standers and Technology (NIST) and a Fellow of the previously named Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (now known as JILA). In 1973, Dr. Faller was awarded an Adjoint Professorship at the University of Colorado Boulder in the department of physics. While still at CU-Boulder, Dr. James Faller held the position of Chief, Quantum Physics Division of NIST. He is not an emeritus professor of the previously stated university.

His research has been primarily devoted to precision measurements and fundamental contestants. However, he has dabbled in the areas of geophysics and experimental relativity, and worked on the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiments quite extensively. In his later years of research, he was mostly devoted to precision measurement of gravity as well as finding invalidations of accepted physical laws at an extreme magnitude.

While at the University of Colorado, Dr. Faller invented the Absolute Gravimeter for which he received much recognition. The instrument proved to be very sensitive to changes in gravity to the point where it could measure the change in gravity due to the mass of a person walking by.

During the his conception and work on the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiments, Dr. Faller traveled to various areas of the country (world) to inspect and collect data from different consortiums with the capability to collect data from the moon. He often worked with the students and staff of the LICK laboratory in California.

He is a member of Fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Geophysical Union, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Optical Society of America and Member, The International Astronomical Union.


13.5 linear feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



Professor James Faller was a faculty member in the department of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He preformed extensive work on NASA’s Laser Lunar Ranging Experiments, as well as conducting research in precision measurement with the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) at CU. His collection contains papers and photos from the Laser Lunar Ranging Experiments, as well as information about different observatories participating in the LLR experiments. The photographs contained in his collection are of moon shots taken by the rovers, satellites, and Astronauts participating in this experiment.


This collection is arranged in original order in which we attained it from the donor, with a box level inventory list.

Physical Location

A60 J3-7

In Progress
Surveyed by Kara Epple, March 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States