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Engineering physics at Lehigh University, 1926-1930; graduate work in physics at University of Wisconsin, 1930-1934; Ann Arbor summer school, 1934; reputation and major interests of theoretical group at University of California at Berkeley, mid-1930s; nuclear force studies; migrations of Berkeley theorists to Caltech; major discoveries during 1930s, their communication through journals; interactions between Berkeley experimentalists and theorists in 1930s; influence of cosmic ray and astrophysics research on nuclear physics; beta decay; betatrons and synchotrons, pre- and postwar; significance of fission; contributions of war research to nuclear theory and techniques; end of war planning for higher energy accelerators; mission to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945; accelerator improvements, straight sections, and phase stability, mid-1940s; effect of higher energy experiments on nuclear structure theory, postwar to early 1950s; development of the optical model after 1949; the stripping reaction; motivations for shifting into particle research in early 1950s; reactions to the revived shell model; collective model; leading centers and scientists, and major discoveries, 1945-1950; development of scattering theory and many-body theory. Also prominently mentioned are: Luis Walter Alvarez, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Keith Allan Brueckner, Butler, Karl Kelchner Darrow, Leo Delsasso, John R. Dunning, Enrico Fermi, Herman Feshbach, William Alfred Fowler, Gerson Goldhaber, Maurice Goldhaber, Raymond George Herb, Robert Jastrow, Fritz Kalckar, Donald W. Kerst, Giulio (Cesar) Lattes, Charles Christian Lauritsen, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Edwin Mattison McMillan, Benjamin R. Mottelson, J. Robert Oppenheimer, James Rainwater, Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas, Vladimir Iosifovich Veksler, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Milton Grandison White, Eugene Paul Wigner, Robert Rathbun Wilson, Ta-You Wu, Hideki Yukawa; California Institute of Technology, Comptes Rendus, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Università di Roma, University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, and University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Arrival in the U.S. in 1930; comparison of social, scientific, general intellectual climates in U.S and Europe; early interest in nuclear physics, relationship with graduate students; beta decay, compound nucleus model, Breit-Wigner formula, early shell model; review articles by Bethe; relation of early meson theory to nuclear physics; nuclear forces; charge independence; journal literature of physics ca. 1937; effectiveness of group-theoretic models in nuclear physics; effectiveness of quantum mechanics for nuclear physics; significant early experimental discoveries in nuclear physics: neutron, deutron, artificial radioactivity; fission, shell model of Mayer and Jensen; rotational levels in nuclei; the specialization of physics; effect of World War II on nuclear physics research; work at Chicago; conferences after the war; branching off of high-energy physics from nuclear physics; work personally regarded as interesting.