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Session two is a joint interview with Robert Herman. Family background and early education, work at Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, studies at George Washington University, wartime employment and studies, work with Navy on detection of mines; graduate studies with George Gamow while working at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, early universe theory, first encounter and later work with Robert Herman, interaction with physics community. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and L. R. Henrich, neglect of Alpher and Herman work by astronomical community; General Electric projects: supersonic flow, re-entry physics, the Talaria project; the Penzias/Wilson observations; honors, marriage. Miscellaneous recollections about youth in Washington, D.C., service on scientific committees, public education efforts, work at General Electric. Meeting of Alpher and Herman, their collaboration, cosmological theory, work with George Gamow, Edward Teller, Hans Bethe, Edward Condon, cosmic background radiation, controversy with steady-state adherents and others; systematic neglect of their work, nucleosynthesis in stars, reactions to awards, discussions with Arno A. Penzias at the time of Nobel Prize award (with Robert W. Wilson), correspondence with S. Pasternack about P. James Peeble's cosmology papers, Alpher paper on neutrino and photon background calculation, James Follin, C. Hayashi, Steven Weinberg's presentation in his book The First Three Minutes; current cosmological efforts, A. Zee's papers on cosmology, views on the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, Fred Hoyle's recent writings. Also prominently mentioned are: Niels Henrik David Bohr, Albert Einstein, Richard Phillips Feynman, Lawrence Randolph Hafstad, Robert Hofstadter, Huntington, and H. P. Robertson.
Topics discussed include: family background, education at Harvard, Japan, interactions with Japanese physicists, Bell Labs, solid state physics, Mott phenomenon, Green's function, and Helium-3.
Family background; undergraduate and graduate studies at Princeton University: electrical engineering 1921, graduate research on ionization of argon and HC1, spectroscopic interests, (MA 1924, PhD 1925); developmental research as engineer for American Telephone and Telegraph Laboratories (1921–23); National Research Council Fellow at Harvard University (1925–27); Bartol Research Foundation Fellow (1927–29), research on “impact of protons on atoms and molecules.” Assistant professor at Cornell University (1929–31), high voltage x-ray research, visit to Cavendish Laboratory, associations (1930); Founding Director of the American Institute of Physics (1931–57): discussions on the origin, nature and funding of AIP; early associations with the Chemical Foundation and American Chemical Society; history of selected AIP journals; public relations to promote physics; Impact of Depression on physics; Depression and post World War II studies on physics manpower and industries.
Family background; undergraduate and graduate studies at Princeton University: electrical engineering 1921, graduate research on ionization of argon and HC1, spectroscopic interests (MA 1924, PhD 1925); developmental research as engineer for American Telephone and Telegraph Laboratories (1921–1923); National Research Council Fellow at Harvard University (1925–1927); Bartol Research Foundation Fellow (1927–1929), research on impact of protons on atoms and molecules. Assistant professor at Cornell University (1929–1931), high voltage X—ray research, visit to Cavendish Laboratory; founding Director of the American Institute of Physics (AIP 1931–1957): discussions on the origins, nature and funding of AIP; early associations with the Chemical Foundation and American Chemical Society; history of selected AIP journals; public relations to promote physics; impact of Depression on physics; Depression and post J,JW II studies on physics man—power and industries Also mentioned at length are E..P. Adams, Karl Compton, Charles D. Ellis, Paul D. Foote, Alfred Loomis, Donald Mueller, Robert Mullikan, George B. Pegram, Floyd Richtmyer, Henry N. Russell, Harry D. Smyth, John T. Tate.
Work on theory of plasma between 1946 and 1953. Initial interest in plasma at Lawrence Radiation Laboratory during World War II continued interest at University of California, Berkeley and then at Princeton University (especially in collaboration with D. Grass and David Pines). Also prominently mentioned are: John Bardeen, Albert Einstein, E. P. Gross, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Julian R. Schwinger, and Tor Staver.