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Anderson talks almost exclusively about his work during the thirties with particles of high energy involved in nuclear reactions. He covers in detail his discovery of the positive electron, his pair production work with gamma rays, his expedition to Pike’s Peak with Neddermeyer and their discovery of the mesotron. He mentions that it was in his speech accepting the Nobel Prize in 1936 that he first mentioned the possibility of negative and positive particles of intermediate mass. After noting the absence of any cosmic ray work during the war years, he mentions the postwar development of cosmic ray work into high energy physics.
Early life and education; research on spectroscopy with Robert A. Millikan at University of Chicago and Caltech; early teaching career at Caltech; work on forbidden lines, 200-inch telescope project; visitors to Caltech during the 1930s include Albert Einstein and Arnold Sommerfeld; effects of the Depression and World War II on astronomy; postwar reorganization, staff and funding at Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories; Edwin P. Hubble's role at the observatory; educational aspects of the observatory program (professional and public); research groups and research interests; theorists and observationalists, Jesse Greenstein, Guido Münch, Jan Oort, radio astronomy; recollections and evaluations of own work after retirement. Also prominently mentioned are: Walter Sydney Adams, Harold Delos Babcock, William Alvin Baum, Wilhelm Bjerknes, T. Bowen, Geoffrey R. Burbidge, Margaret Burbidge, Vannevar Bush, J. Carroll, Lee Alvin DuBridge, Theodore Dunham Jr., Edlén, Robley Dunglison Evans, William Alfred Fowler, Henry Gordon Gale, Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin, George Ellery Hale, John L. Hall, Don Hendrix, Alfred H. Joy, Thomas Lauritsen, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Max Mason, Edwin Mattison McMillan, Merriam, Paul Merrill, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, R. Otis, Henry Norris Russell, John Donovan Strong, Richard Chase Tolman, Merle Antony Tuve; Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Family background and early education; early science interests (telegraph and radio transmission), wins American Chemistry Society Contest in high school. Caltech for both undergraduate and graduate studies, 1926-1934, comments on courses, teachers (Richard C. Tolman, Paul Epstein) and fellow students (Chet Carlson, the inventor of Xerox). Joins Charles Lauritsen's group as graduate student (nuclear physics), gets involved in research projects. J. Robert Oppenheimer's interest in their work, Ernest Lawrence's interest and objections to Lauritsen/Crane work on the radiative captive process (Enrico Fermi), Merle Tuve's involvement. Involvement in building machines for the Kellogg Laboratory (Seeley W. Mudd); Ph.D 1934 (The capture of protons by Carbon-12). Accepts offer from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; planning and building of a high voltage accelerator. Department involvement in applied work (GE, Ford), strong interest in biology; rising biophysics interest in the department. Wartime work. Recruited for MIT's Radiation Laboratory, later involved in Tuve's proximity fuse project; Manhattan District interest. Establishment of Biophysics Lab within Physics Department in Ann Arbor. The Racetrack Synchrotron. Also prominently mentioned are: Carl David Anderson, Ted Berlin, Sir John Cockcroft, John, Sir, Walter Francis Colby, James M. Cork, Leo Delsasso, David Mathias Dennison, William Alfred Fowler, Samuel Abraham Goudsmit, Halpern, Fred Hodges, Lampe, Otto Laporte, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Edwin Mattison McMillan, Harrison McAllister Randall, William Ralph Smythe, Robert Thornton, George Eugène Uhlenbeck, A. E. White, Robley Williams, Ralph Walter Graystone Wyckoff; and Randall Laboratory of University of Michigan.
Family background; grows up in California; early interest in electronics. Undergraduate and graduate studies at Caltech. Strong interest in history of science as undergraduate. Ph.D. in physics, 1932. University of California at Berkeley, 1932-1934. MIT from 1934; founder of the Radioactivity Center. Starts first course designated "nuclear physics," January 1935. Strong interest in study of radium poisoning; radium tolerance in humans, cancer research. World War II work, postwar work; establishment of Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Engineering. Markle Foundation supplies funds for the Radioactivity Center's Cyclotron; the 1940 Conference on Applied Nuclear Physics (sponsored by the American Institute of Physics and MIT); World War II work at the Radioactivity Center at MIT; radium dial paint studies; radium and plutonium safety regulations (Glenn Seaborg); work relations with the Manhattan Project; the MAMI (marked mine) project reveals indication of German plutonium project. Also prominently mentioned are: Carl David Anderson, Joe Aub, Joe Boyce, Vannevar Bush, Evan Byers, John Cockcroft, Robert Colenko, Arthur Holly Compton, Karl Taylor Compton, Enrico Fermi, Horace Ford, Ralph Howard Fowler, George Gamow, Newell Gingrich, Clark Goodman, Leslie Richard Groves, George Harrison, Hobart, Elmer Hutchisson, Ray Keating, Arthur Kip, Pinkie Klein, Rudolf Ladenburg, Charles Christian Lauritsen, Thomas Lauritsen, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Willard Frank Libby, Milton Stanley Livingston, Leonard Benedict Loeb, Sam Lynd, Edwin Mattison McMillan, Robert Andrews Millikan, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Elmer Robinson, Ernest Rutherford, John Clarke Slater, Sorensen, Robert Jamison Van de Graaff, Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, Martin Wittenberg, Jerrold Reinach Zacharias; American Institute of Physics; American Cancer Society, Bausch and Lomb Co., National Research Council, Radiation Standards Committee, United States Federal Cancer Commission, United States Food and Drug Administration, United States National Bureau of Standards, United States Navy, University of Rochester, University of Utah Salt Lake City Project, Wesleyan University, World War I, and World War II.
Work at Caltech during the 1930s; when the Cockcroft-Walton paper appeared in 1932, he shifted from X-ray work to nuclear work. Development of ion sources and detection equipment, the building of a second tube at the High Voltage Laboratory, old tube is used in cancer therapy. Begins a systematic study of energy levels in light nuclei after discovery of artificial radioactivity. Interest in nuclear physics in Caltech. Nuclear work during the war, and the increase in level of support by Office of Naval Research (ONR) after the war. Also prominently mentioned are: Carl David Anderson, Robert Fox Bacher, Willard Bennett, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Ira Sprague Bowen, Horace Richard Crane, Robert Andrews Millikan, Seeley Mudd, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Rutherford, Merle Antony Tuve; Conference on Theoretical Physics (1934 : London, England), Mount Wilson Observatory, Southern California Edison Company, University of California, Berkeley.
<p>Then, the project finally got authorized in 1961 — but again after a rather amusing set of coincidences. At that time the Stanford project was sort of known as the Republican project because Eisenhower had proposed it to a Democratic Congress. At that time there was a project that the Democrats wanted in Congress which the Republican administration did not want. This was for the Hanford Reactor to generate power into the electrical net, because it was considered to be socialized electricity by the Republicans, to have power generated by a production reactor. There was also good economic and technical reasons against such a project. It’s a very inefficient reactor, for power generation because of the low temperature at which the Hanford reactor operates. Anyway, the Democrats wanted it and the Republicans didn't.</p>
<p>On the other hand, the Stanford linear accelerator was considered to be a Republican proposal, opposed by the Democrats. So after a while the Republicans and Democrats in the Joint Committee essentially said, "If you approve Hanford, then we approve Stanford." So it ended up with both of them getting approved, and it was this entirely political infighting in the Congress which resulted in that last hurdle being passed. However in 1960, we already had very good confidence that it would go, because the three million dollars was fundamentally a signal to us that Congress really meant it but that they wanted to slap Mr. Eisenhower’s wrist for non-consultation.</p>
Childhood and early education, Hollywood High School, graduates in chemistry from Caltech, 1924; to University of California, Berkeley (Gilbert N. Lewis), 1924; postdoc at Berkeley for 1Œ years working on statistical mechanics. To Göttingen (James Franck), 1929; marries Maria Goeppert; return to Göttingen, 1932, works with Born on lattice energy calculations. Comments on work done with Maria Goeppert. Discussion of the application of the new quantum theory to solids.