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In this interview, Leopold Halpern discusses the life of Marietta Blau. Topics discussed include: Hertha Wambacher; Institute for Radium Research; Auguste Dick; Georg Stetter; Albert Einstein; Otto Halpern; Philipp Lenard; Brookhaven National Laboratory; experiences with gender discrimination and antisemitism.
Early education, Real-gymnasium; Universität Berlin, 1930; early interest in physics; courses, books studied, method of noting original ideas; University of Cambridge, 1933; first formal paper on nuclear physics; reaction in Berlin to discovery of neutron, colloquium of Lise Meitner; beta decay and the neutrino hypothesis; working habits at Cavendish Laboratory; collaboration with James Chadwick; photodisintegration of the deuteron; work with slow neutrons; circumstances of move to U.S., 1938; consequences of death of Ernest Rutherford on research at Cavendish Laboratory; use of proportional counters, oscilloscopes, nuclear emulsions in mid-1930s; important centers of research, publications; early failures to recognize fission; ways of determining nuclear spin; comparison of available equipment, technology in England and U.S.; comparison of motivations for doing experiments in 1930s and at present; nuclear models, conditions for acceptance, usefulness; distinctions between nuclear structure and nuclear forces as areas of study; money as a determinant of possible experiments; World War II as a determinant of work in nuclear physics; postwar work in nuclear physics; improvements in detectors and techniques ca. 1950; origin of high-energy physics; mobility of physicists among fields of study; postwar conferences, Shelter Island, Rochester; separation of belief from established results in pedagogy; current capabilities of theory in nuclear physics. Also includes an 8-page bibliography. Also prominently mentioned are: Niels Henrik David Bohr, Chang, John Cockcroft, Critchfield, Sydney Michael Dancoff, P. I. Dee, P. A. M. Dirac, Enrico Fermi, George Gamow, Gertrude Goldhaber, Gordy, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, I. V. Kurchatov, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Douglas Lea, Alfred Loomis, Lothar Nordheim, Nutt, Wolfgang Pauli, Rudolf Ernst Peierls, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Rosenblum, Robert Green Sachs, Max Schiffer, Erwin Schrödinger, Emilio Gino Segrè, David Shoenberg, Esther Simpson, Leo Szilard; American Physical Society, Columbia University, Magdalen College (University of Oxford), Manhattan Project, Trinity College (University of Cambridge), University of Illinois, and University of Rochester.
Developments of the technique of separated oscillating fields and the atomic clock. Move to Harvard University from Columbia University and Brookhaven National Laboratory; work at Harvard concentrating on the first molecular beam magnetic resonance apparatus, doctoral thesis of Harwood Kolsky; Jerrold Zacharias and the cesium beam clock; Brookhaven Molecular Beam Conferences (beginning 1947), significant developments in resonance. Also prominently mentioned are: P. I. Dee, Harwood Kolsky, Polykarp Kusch, William Aaron Nierenberg, Pendulchron, Ken Smith, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, Robert F. Vessot, Earl Wilkie; Brookhaven National Laboratory Molecular Beam Conferences, Fort Monmouth, Frequency Control Symposium, National Science Foundation (U.S.), United States Army Signal Corps, United States National Bureau of Standards, United States Office of Naval Research, and University of California at Berkeley.