Oral History Interview — Dr. Jean Claude Pecker
This transcript may not be quoted, reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part by any means except with the written permission of the American Institute of Physics.
This transcript is based on a tape-recorded interview deposited at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. The AIP's interviews have generally been transcribed from tape, edited by the interviewer for clarity, and then further edited by the interviewee. If this interview is important to you, you should consult earlier versions of the transcript or listen to the original tape. For many interviews, the AIP retains substantial files with further information about the interviewee and the interview itself. Please contact us for information about accessing these materials.
Please bear in mind that: 1) This material is a transcript of the spoken word rather than a literary product; 2) An interview must be read with the awareness that different people's memories about an event will often differ, and that memories can change with time for many reasons including subsequent experiences, interactions with others, and one's feelings about an event. Disclaimer: This transcript was scanned from a typescript, introducing occasional spelling errors. The original typescript is available.
See the catalog record for this interview and search for other interviews in our collection
Interview with Dr. Jean Claude Pecker
Jean Claude Pecker; September 11, 1976
ABSTRACT: Background and education to baccalauréat in June 1940. Anti-semitism and move to Grenoble, studies there under Fortrat; wartime difficulties. Passage through Ecole Normale Supérieure and comments on French educational hierarchy. Contacts with Bernard Lyot, Evry Schatzman, Marcel Minnaert; first steps in astrophysics, work on nuclear structure. Use of Bengt Strömgren's method in thesis on model non-gray atmospheres, 1951. Social climate of astrophysics in Holland, Copenhagen, Boulder, CO (where visited with Walter O. Roberts, Richard N. Thomas) and Paris. At Clermont-Ferrand, 1952-1955. Work on non-local thermodynamic equilibrium models, 1957. Director of Nice Observatory, situation there ca. 1962; problems of funding and organization in France. Move to Collège de France. Work on interstellar dust and cosmology since 1961; Paris colloquium on redshifts, 1976; politics of nonconventional cosmologies. Also prominently mentioned are: Anatole Abragam, M. Brelot, Fayet, Alfred Kastler, André Lallemand, Donald Howard Menzel, Henri Mineur, Louis Néel; and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France).