AIP History Center Newsletter
Photos and Quotes included in the
Fall 2002 Issue of the CHP Newsletter

Click directly on the photo to see a larger image.


Extraction of radiumExtraction of radium in the old shed where Marie Curie first obtained the element in the early 1900s. From Pierre Curie by Marie Curie (Macmillan, 1923). The book is turning brittle and is therefore included in the Niels Bohr Library's microfilming project. While examining books to prepare them for filming, library staff flag useful pictures to scan and include in the online Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

Cavendish Lab, 1922 James Franck with Gustav Born on his shoulders
The Cavendish Laboratory's 1922 annual photograph. Credit: Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. James Franck with Gustav Born on his shoulders, and Richard Courant. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Born Collection.

History of science... protects scientists from the sins of dogma—the arrogant belief that science is infallible, unchallenged and final.... It encourages young scientists not to worship what is already known but to question it.

—Pangratios Papacosta


Sir Frederick William Herschel Louis Rosen Richard and Nina Courant with Max Born
From our brittle book collection. Sir Frederick William Herschel, from The Herschels and Modern Astronomy, by Agnes M. Clerke, The Macmillan Co., 1895. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. See more of our Brittle Book Photos. Louis Rosen (Los Alamos) and Minnesota Emperor Tandem, at dedication of J.H. Williams Laboratory of Nuclear Structure, May 3, 1966. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Hintz Collection. Richard and Nina Courant with Max Born, Winter 1956. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

Max Born, Paul Dirac, and Fritz Zwicke Max Born, Paul Dirac, and Fritz Zwicke, at the 6th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, 1956, Lake Constance, Germany. Photo courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Born Collection.

To an extent rarely appreciated by nonhistorians (who often imagine that the historian is a mere reporter of events), studying the history of ideas—scientific or otherwise—involves a great deal of creative imagination.... This task of reconstruction is utterly impossible unless the historian has a very subtle sense of what kinds of arguments would be plausible in a given situation.

—Larry Laudan


Mercury Vapor Lamp

This mercury vapor lamp turned up in the collection of spectroscopist William F. Meggers, in the Niels Bohr Library's archives. A note in Meggers's hand on the wooden case says it was blessed by Pope Pius XII in 1952. We have donated the lamp, with other artifacts from the Meggers collection, to the archives and museum of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Meggers was head of the Spectroscopy Division of what was then the National Bureau of Standards from 1919 to 1958. Our Archivist, Katy Hayes, is now completing the archival processing of the Meggers papers. In July she gave a brief presentation on the collection to the Standards Alumni Association. The date inscribed on the wood is 7 Sept. 1952.


More photos accompanied these articles in the Fall 2002 newsletter:

Photos also accompanied some of the articles in our special insert:
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