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Childhood; early interest in science (astronomy). Member of Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1928. Special student at University of California at Berkeley, 1931, with Donald H. Menzel’s help. Regular student from 1932; comments on teachers and fellow students at Berkeley Student Observatory. Summer assistantship at Lick Observatory (Nicholas Mayall, Arthur B. Wyse), life at Lick Observatory. To Harvard University in 1937 for graduate studies; comparison between Harvard and Berkeley/Lick; teaching assistant at Radcliffe; 3-year membership in Harvard Society of Fellows, from 1939, of enormous importance for his development; works with Menzel and James G. Baker on the Theory of Physical Processes in Gaseous Nebulae, 1937; Analysis of the Atmospheres of the A-type Dwarfs Gamma Geminorum and Sirius based on data from Louis Berman; Jesse Greenstein. Comments on Harvard Summer Schools, Harlow Shapley’ s Square.” Volunteer teacher of elementary physics courses from 1942 at Harvard. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, 1943-1945; work involved evaluation of the chemists and the Counting Group’s output from the electromagnetic separation process. Job offer from University of Indiana (Frank Edmunson) accepted due to cutback at Radiation Laboratory. Indiana years, 1945-1948, very productive (drafts for two astrophysics books); problems getting telescope time at Yerkes Observatory and unsatisfactory living conditions leads to acceptance of a promising tenured position at Michigan, a center with very active research due to Leo Goldberg; Robert McMath’s influence in the department; Keith Pierce and Aller’s work on infrared solar spectrum. Work performed at Mt. Wilson Observatory and Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Goldberg resigns in 1959; comments on Aller’s decision to leave Michigan; discussions of funding; “over-head” (Aller’s talk at an AAS Meeting); comparison of Lick Observatory and Kitt Peak Observatory policies. Work at Mt. Stromio Observatory, Australia on sabbatical visits, 1960, 1968-1969, 1977-1978. Overview of opinions of the present state of astronomy. Comments on personal life, wife and children.
General interview examining family origins; early life in Milwaukee; interest in mechanical things; development of interest in astronomy; engineering at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee campus; interest in photoelectric photometry; graduate study at Madison and work with C. Huffer and I. Stebbins; Stebbins and A.E. Whitford’s work; graduate study at Lick Observatory and Berkeley; photoelectric instrumentation; Lick in the pre-war years; World War II at MIT and Caltech; return to Lick and use of lP2l photomultipliers; W. Baade; origin of 120-inch telescope; Australia; Lick during the 1950s and C.D. Shane’s retirement; the electronic camera; contacts and association with H. Johnson, M. Walker and Lallemand; move to Flagstaff and the Naval Observatory; recollections of Lick staff in 1930s; H.N. Russell; Mrs. Kron’s work at Harvard and astronomical interests.