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Libby, Willard F.
Oral history interview with Willard Frank Libby, 1979 April 12 and 16.
Early life and education; undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate years, 1927-1940 at the University of California, Berkeley. Growth of Berkeley science; Gilbert Lewis, Wendell Latimer and Ernest Lawrence; development of low-level counters; radiochemistry and discovery of isotopes; cross-disciplinary collaboration; interest in carbon-14; association with Samuel Ruben and Martin Kamen; hot atom chemistry and nuclear isomerism; experiences at Princeton University (hot atom chemistry, development of heterogenous catalysis and research on tritium), 1940-1941; work on the chemistry of the diffusion process during World War II at Columbia University (Manhattan Project). Development of the radiocarbon dating technique at the University of Chicago, 1945-1954; measurement of half-life of carbon-14; Harold Urey's importance to Libby; secrecy policy; collaboration with Aristid von Grosse, James Arnold and Ernest Anderson; improved counting technologies; first contacts with archaeologists; Viking Fund and cross-disciplinary collaboration; communicating ideas; Sunshine Project and fallout; AEC appointment; concluding remarks. Also prominently mentioned are: Samuel K. Allison, C. H. Currier, Karl Kelchner Darrow, Felix Ehrenhaft, R. W. Emerson, Enrico Fermi, Leslie Richard Groves, Douglas Rayner Hartree, Robert Hutchins, Immanuel Kant, Serge Korff, Robert Bruce Lindsay, Theodore Lyman, Henry Margenau, McKeehan, Karl Pearson, Henri Poincaré, D. Richardson, Ernest Rutherford, Leo Schubert, H. S. Uhler, Arthur Gordon Webster, L. P. Wheeler, Norbert Wiener, Anthony Zeleny; American Physical Society, Harvard University, Institute for Theoretical Physics (Copenhagen), Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Niels Bohr Institutet, Process Corporation, University of California, Berkeley Dept. of Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Chicago Institute for Nuclear Studies, Viking Fund, and Windermere Hotel.
Willard Frank Libby (1908-1980)
Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965
Barus, Carl, 1856-1935.
Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962
Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961
Darrow, Karl K. (Karl Kelchner), 1891-
Ehrenhaft, Felix, 1879-1952.
Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954
Hartree, Douglas R. (Douglas Rayner), 1897-1958
Groves, Leslie R., 1896-1970
Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958.
Libby, Willard F.
Lindsay, Robert Bruce, 1900-
Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954.
Margenau, Henry, 1901-1997
Poincaré, Henri, 1854-1912.
Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937
Swann, W. F. G. (William Francis Gray), 1884-1962
Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981
Acoustical Society of America.
Brown University.
Harvard University.
University of Chicago. Institute for Nuclear Studies.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Niels Bohr institutet
Princeton University
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
Universitetets Institut for Teoretisk Fysik (Copenhagen)
University of California, Berkeley.
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago
Yale University.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Archeological physics.
Carbon -- Isotopes -- Half-life.
Cyclotrons.
Diffusion processes.
Nuclear counters.
Low-level radiation.
Hot-atom chemistry.
Isotopes.
Manhattan Project (U.S.)
Nuclear isomers.
Nuclear physics.
Heterogeneous catalysis.
Physics -- Study and teaching
Radioactive fallout.
Radiocarbon dating
Radiochemistry.
Tritium.
Secrecy.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Science.
Oral histories. aat
Interviews. aat
Sound recordings. aat
Transcripts. aat
Anderson, Ernst.
Arnold, James, 1923-
Currier, C. H.
Emerson, R. W.
Hutchins, Robert Maynard, 1899-1977
Grosse, Aristid von, 1905-1985
Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804.
Keman, Martin.
Korff, Serge Alexander.
Latimer, Wendell M. (Wendell Mitchell), 1893-1955
Lewis, Gilbert Newton, 1875-1946.
Page, Leigh.
Richardson, D. S.
Richardson, R. G. D. (Roland George Dwight), 1878-1949.
Ruben, Samuel.
Schubert, Leo.
Tamarkin, J. D.
Uhler, Horace Shudder.
Webster, Arthur Gordon.
Wiener, Norbert, 1894-1964.
Wheeler, L. P.
Wilson, Edwin Bidwell, 1879-1964.
Zeleny, Anthony.
Process Corporation.
Sunshine Project.
Viking Fund.
Marlowe, Greg, interviewer.
AIP-ICOS
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA
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