AIP History Center Newsletter
Photos and Quotes included in the
Fall 2000 Issue of the CHP Newsletter

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Hedwig Kohn, portrait

Portrait of Hedwig Kohn, circa 1952.


Hedwig Kohn, in Italy

Hedwig Kohn, in Italy, 1931. "Lago maggiore."

Hedwig Kohn's will decreed that her papers and correspondence be destroyed, but it also said that her coworkers and colleagues at Duke University should have the opportunity to select some mementos from her belongings. In this way, her collection of photographs was saved from destruction, and eventually came to us. Photo courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrč Visual Archives, Kohn Photo Collection.

Physics becomes in those years the greatest collective work of art of the twentieth century.

—Jacob Bronowski

Albert Einstein and Rudolf Ladenburg, 1950

Albert Einstein and Rudolf Ladenburg, Princeton Symposium, on the occasion of Ladenburg's retirement, May 28, 1950. Hedwig Kohn is in the background on the left. Photo courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrč Visual Archives.

Historians rarely "talk shop" at lunch or other social occasions; physicists will take advantage of the slightest opportunity to give an enthusiastic discourse on their lates experiment or calculation.... Perhaps history will always be a discipline in which the major achievements are book-length syntheses rather than brief papers. Yet it should be possible for historians [like physicists] to engage in vigorous debate with each other on specific questions of fact and interpretation and, more importantly, to change their conclusions as a result of such debate.

—Stephen Brush

Photograph of a student's lecture notes from 1694

This photograph was taken from the David Gregory Collection. The original drawing was done by a student, Francis Pringle, in 1694, as part of a series of lecture notes that he took down at Oxford University (whilst Gregory held the Chair of Astronomy), and is taken from Gregory's work Geometria de Motu, relating specifically to mechanics. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Much of the history of science, like the history of religion, is a history of struggles driven by power and money. And yet this is not the whole story. Genuine saints occasionally play and important role, both in religion and in science.

—Freeman Dyson

President John F. Kennedy in 1962

President Kennedy delivering remarks in front of the Model Lunar Lander. This photo was taken in Houston, Texas, at the NASA Rich Building on December 12, 1962. Also shown are Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, NASA Administrator James E. Webb, Dr. Robert Gilruth, Director of the Manned Space Program, and others. Photo courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. (This photo also accompanied the JFK Presidential Library article in this issue.)

Abraham Pais

Abraham Pais, 1918-2000. Photo by Ingbert Gruttner, Rockefeller University, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrč Visual Archives.

A.M. Prokhorov

Portrait of A.M. Prokhorov from the book Kvantovaia Elektronika, Izierannie Trudi, Izdat, Moscow, 1996.

I work and live in the country of physics, but history is the place that I love to visit as a tourist.

—Steven Weinberg

Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir

Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir, 1909-2000.

American Astronomical Society, 1916

American Astronomical Society, 19th meeting, Sproul Observatory, Swathmore, 1916. Both photos are courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrč Visual Archives.

The study of the history of science seems to provide the only feasible method for bridging the widening gap between the men of science on the one hand and the men of letters on the other.

—George Sarton, 1924

Russian cartoon
This drawing in a book among those recently donated to the Niels Bohr Library tells the story of "Archimedes Birthday," an annual tradition at the Physics Department of Moscow State University. The practice started in 1960 when students at a Komsomol conference resolved to establish May 7th as the birthday of the great ancient physicist, and it continues today despite a temporary period of underground existence in the late Soviet years due to conflicts with administration. The tradition included a popular show on the stairs in front of the Department adn an evening performance of an amateur opera on physics themes. The book includes the libretto and scores of the most famous of these operas, also called "Archimedes," which tells the story of a young ancient physicist choosing his calling despite the temptations of other available career paths symbolized, correspondingly, by Venus, Mars, Bacchus, and Apollo.

More photos accompanied these articles in the Fall 2000 newsletter:
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