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Natural radioactivity; ideas of nuclear constitution, size in 1920s; Gamow-Condon-Gurney theory of alpha decay 1928; discovery of neutron 1932; Cambridge as a center of research 1933; early theories of nuclear forces; analysis of short-range nuclear forces 1935-40; reasons for writing Rev. Mod. Phys. review articles 1935-37 and detailed review of articles' contents; beta decay and the neutrino hypothesis; application of group-theoretic methods to nuclear physics 1936-37; compound nucleus model 1936; nuclear models in general (compound nucleus, evaporation, liquid drop, direct interaction, statistical); contemporary knowledge of nuclear physics 1938-39; stellar energy production; energy limit on cyclotron; accelerators and theoreticians; nuclear physics at Los Alamos; post-war conferences; origins and development of the shell model of the nucleus; many-body theory in nuclear physics; current algebras in particle physics; origins and development of the optical model; of the collective model; autobiographical comments on political, social, scientific conditions in Germany and England in early 1930s ; nuclear studies at Cornell after the war; building the H-bomb; the Oppenheimer hearings; work as a consultant 1950-1970; involvement with PSAC 1956; views on disarmament; receipt of 1967 Nobel Prize.
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.
Gamow's involvement with nuclear physics. His later work in astrophysics and his interest in biology. Personal anecdotes about Gamow's childhood in Odessa, student life with Lev Landau and Dmitriy Ivanenko at the University of Leningrad, his fellowship at Göttingen, work in Copenhagen with Niels Bohr, and at University of Cambridge with Ernest Rutherford. Emigration to America in 1934, subsequent work in the United States. Work on penetration barriers, saturation, the beta decay rule, and the nuclear droplet model. Also prominently mentioned are: Hans Albrecht Bethe, Hermann Bondi, Walter Bothe, Maurice de Broglie, James Chadwick, John Cockcroft, Edward Uhler Condon, Francis Crick, Critchfield, Marie Sklodowska Curie, Max Delbrück, Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, Paul Ehrenfest, Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Alexander Friedman, Barbara Gamow, Thomas Gold, Ronald Gurney, Fred Hoyle, Petr Kapitsa, Krutkow, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Nikolaivitch Luchnik, Chester Nimitz, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Wolfgang Pauli, Léon Rosenfeld, Dimitri Rozhdestwenski, Martin Schwarzschild, Edward Teller, Merle Antony Tuve, James Watson, John Archibald Wheeler, A. M. Wood; Associacion Venezueliana para Promocion de la Sciencia, University of Cambridge Press, Carlsbergfondet Fellowship, George Washington University, Institut de Physique Solvay, Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet imeni A. A. Zhdanova, Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State University, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), and Odessa I. I. Mechnikov State University.