"The Search for Stellar Origins from Antiquity to the 21st Century"
Most of what we know about the origins of stars and planets we have learned in the past quarter century, yet the question of stellar origins is among the oldest in astronomy. In this lecture I will review ideas and concepts about the nature of stars and stellar origins from the ancient Greeks to Newton and then to William Herschel who in the eighteenth century proposed a surprisingly modern picture of star formation. I will discuss the "dark ages" of the nineteenth century when the infusion of new technology and physics set back research in this field for nearly a century. Finally I will describe the advances in physics and astronomy in the early twentieth century that led to the critical discovery of the true nature of the sun and the stars and set the stage for the renaissance in star formation research that began in mid to late twentieth century and continues unabated today.