Displaying 1 - 9 of total 9 results:
This interview with A. G. W. Cameron focuses on selected aspects of Cameron's research including nucleosynthesis and use of computers in research. Covers Cameron's different topics of research as well as various institutional appointments. Also comments on style of research and William Fowler's receipt of Nobel prize. Other topics discussed include: his family background and childhood, graduate work at the University of Saskatchewan, Leon Katz, photonuclear reactions, astrophysics, Paul Merrill, galactic evolution, Iowa State teaching nuclear physics, Chalk River, advising work for Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Department of Energy (DOE), hydrogen bomb, origin of the moon, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Stirling Colgate, nuclear astrophysics, teaching at Yale University, big bang theory, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Fred Whipple, Leo Goldberg, Hans Suess, Harold Urey, William Fowler, Fred Hoyle, Geoffrey Burbidge, California Institute of Technology, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Interview discusses Gerard de Vaucouleur's childhood in Paris and family background; early reading; membership in the French Astronomical Society; early work on astronomical catalogues; work at the Paris planetarium in 1937; undergraduate work at the University of Paris; education at the Sorbonne; introduction to Julien Peridier; early work in astronomical photography; discussion of French astronomy in the 1930s; early attitude toward the big bang model; work at the Sorbonne; move to the new Institute of Astrophysics in 1945; work on the r1/4 law for the brightness distribution in galaxies; work on the supercluster of galaxies in the 1950s; influence of Vera Rubin's work; community's reception of de Vaucouleurs's work on the supercluster and his challenge of the assumption of large-scale homogeneity; interaction with Fritz Zwicky; attitude toward the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) redshift surveys by de Lapparent, Margaret Geller, and John Huchra; a hierarchical model for the universe; discussion of the meaning of homogeneity; attitudes toward the horizon problem, the inflationary universe model, dark matter, the flatness problem, work on the very early universe, and the big bang model; relationship of theory and observation; the ideal design of the universe; the question of whether the universe has a point.
Interview covers Sandra Faber's childhood experiences; parental background; early reading; early preference for steady state model; relationship between questions and answers in science; confusion over being a woman and being a scientist; lack of female role models in science; education at Swarthmore and the influence of Sarah Lee Lippincott there; graduate work at Harvard; husband's job; graduate work at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism; influence of Vera Rubin; early results of dark matter by Morton Roberts in the late 1960s; thesis work on photometric studies of elliptical galaxies; community's attitude toward excess mass in rotation curves in the late 1960s; motivation for work on the Faber-Jackson relationship between luminosity and velocity dispersion; motivation for work with the Seven Samurai (Burstein, Davies, Dressler, Faber, Lynden-Bell, Terlevich, and Wegner) on peculiar velocities; attitude of the community toward the Seven Samurai work on peculiar velocities; attitude toward the big bang assumption of homogeneity; attitudes toward the horizon problem, the inflationary universe model, missing matter, the flatness problem; discussion of what types of problems can be addressed in cosmology; attitude toward Center for Astrophysics (CfA) red shift surveys by de Lapparent, Margaret Geller, and John Huchra; importance of understanding how large-scale structure is formed; issues of gender in science and the experience of being a woman in science; the ideal design of the universe; the question of whether the universe has a point.
Early interest in natural phenomena; early reading in science; education at Cambridge; graduate work at Cambridge; influence of Dennis Sciama; work with Sciama on the steady state theory; Sciama's attitude toward science; attitude of the Cambridge community toward the results of Martin Ryle on radio counts and challenges to the steady state model; early thinking on the horizon problem; Misner's work on the horizon problem; attitude toward the horizon problem and the role of quantum gravity; relationship of flatness problem to horizon problem; attitude toward the flatness problem; early history of inflationary ideas of Starobinsky and Englert; initial reaction to the inflationary universe model; importance of nonconservation of baryons to inflationary theories; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large-scale inhomogeneities; history of research on inhomogeneities in the universe; early work by Russians on the pancake model of galaxy formation; new cosmological problems that can be addressed in terms of physics rather than in terms of initial conditions: photon-to-baryon ratio, inflation, origin of density fluctuations; prematurity of cosmological questions; importance of evidence for dark matter; the success of the standard big bang model in surviving observational tests; relationship between theory and observation in cosmology; importance of understanding galactic evolution; outstanding problems in cosmology: initial conditions, origins of fluctuations, galaxy formation; question of whether the universe is inherently unique; ideal design of the universe; desire for unending complexities in the laws of nature; question of whether the universe has a point.
Early life and schooling in Manitoba, Canada. Undergraduate studies (engineering, later physics) at University of Manitoba; graduate studies at Princeton University, Ph.D. 1962 (Robert Dicke); the gravity research group. Comments on family. Rest of interview is mainly discussion of his published papers on temperature of meteorites and Paul A. M. Dirac’s cosmology (with R. Dicke, J. Geophys. Res., 1962) done before his thesis work: Blackbody radiation and the formation of galaxies (Astrophysics J. 1965), helium production (Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman); primeval helium abundance (1966); works on pregalactic objects, young galaxies (1967-68), superclusters of galaxies (with Jer Tsang Yu, Astrophysics Journal, 1969) and masses of galaxies (with Jeremiah P. Ostriker, 1974); Big Bang cosmology (with Dicke, 1979). Collaboration with Dicke, his graduate students and other co-workers. Comments on the Space Telescope and on the dark matter puzzle.
Parental background; early interest in science and experience looking through friend's telescope in the fourth grade; feeling of compulsion as a child to go into science; sense of duty inherited from parents; early reading in science; pleasure of solving problems in science; education at Miami University and influential teachers there; experience in the Navy in 1944 and 1945; education at University of illinois; learning observational techniques from Robert Baker; getting into Caltech; attraction of the new 200-inch telescope; attraction of Edwin Hubble and Walter Baade; Sandage's intention of being an apprentice; Sandage's childhood feelings that the world was spirit and magic and the disappearance of those feelings upon entering Caltech; education at Caltech; equations became reality at Caltech; the mystery of science; Ph.D. work with Baade on finding and fitting main sequences in globular clusters; history of motives of work with Martin Schwarzschild on dating globular clusters; apprenticeship with Hubble on the 200-inch telescope; Sandage's later monopoly of the 200-inch after Hubble died; Sandage's feeling of responsibility to carry on Hubble's work; objections to the steady state model; learning about the big bang model; limits of Hubble's understanding of the big bang model; influence of theoretical papers by Mattig; influence of Fred Hoyle; introduction to and early attitude toward the horizon and flatness problems; change in cosmology from finding out what galaxies are like to how galaxies originated; Sandage's change in attitude toward the horizon problem; attitude tow.ard the grand unified theories; Sandage's gradual appreciation for the "new" cosmology, involving particle physics; change in attitude toward the flatness problem; attitude toward dark matter and missing mass; openess to the value of omega; problem of consistent ages in cosmology; many forms of evidence for the big bang model; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large- scale inhomogeneities and importance of similar work done earlier by Gregory, Thompson, Rood, Chincarini and Tifft; relation between theory and observation; science is not the discovery of absolute truth but only an approximation to reality; lack of good observations at the frontiers of science; the change in cosmology from asking only "where" and "what" to also asking "how;" outstanding problems in cosmology: dark matter and value of omega; ideal design of the universe; question of whether the universe has a point.
Background of father; discouraged by father to go into science; early reading in science; early desire to be a Fellow at Trinity College; early interest in philosophy and influence of lectures by Wittenstein; switch in graduate school from statistical mechanics to cosmology; interest in Mach's principle; desire to understand the "great questions"; desire to impose order on the universe; poor grades as an undergraduate student at Cambridge; job in a government research lab called TRE; re-admittance to Cambridge by Hartree; business agreement with father to withdraw from graduate school if unable to get research fellowship to Trinity; influence of Fred Hoyle, Herman Bondi, and Thomas Gold; rebellious nature of Hoyle, Bondi, and Gold; Dirac as thesis advisor; attraction of the steady state model; reaction to hostile evidence against the steady state theory; predictive power of the steady state theory relative to the big bang model; preference for flat universes (in big bang models) because of Mach's principle; Sciama's influence on Dicke and Wheeler regarding Mach's principle; motivation of interest in Mach's principle and its discussion in the BondiGold paper on the steady state; work with Martin Rees in plotting the spatial distribution of quasars and initial intention of defending the steady state model; personality of Martin Rees; giving up the steady state model after the calculation with Rees; approach to advising students; advice given to students Brandon Carter and Stephen Hawking; general scorn of physicists toward cosmology in the 1950s; recognition of cosmology by physicists after the cosmological prediction of the number of neutrino types; introduction to and attitudes toward the horizon and flatness problems; attitude toward the inflationary universe model; problem in appreciating those problems because so few people in the field; problem with inflationary universe model having so many variations and being oversold; reasons why the inflationary universe model has been so influential; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large-scale inhomogeneities; problems if inhomogeneity in cosmic background radiation not found with factor of 10 improvement in detection limits; discussion of dark matter and missing mass; current state of mess of inflationary universe model; interplay of theory and observation in cosmology, particularly in the number of types of neutrinos; reasonableness of extrapolating physics back to the very early universe; outstanding problems in cosmology: the cosmological constant, fate of the universe, dark matter, galaxy formation; ideal design of the universe; belief in the strong anthropic principle; belief that Penrose and Hawking are wrong in their proposal of very special initial conditions for the universe; question of whether the universe has a point.
Family background and early education; undergraduate studies in engineering at University of Michigan, faculty who influenced him; doctoral thesis at University of Michigan with Richard Crane on the g-2 experiment. Postdoctoral instructor; decision to work with Robert Dicke on gravitation at Princeton; funding in the Princeton Department, faculty, the ongoing NSF grant for Gravity, Relativity and Cosmology research. The lunar ranging experiment; assembling the team, background observations with balloons and COBE, construction for the 1969 Apollo flight. Studies in black-body radiation generated by Dicke, 1964; Wilkinson joins project with Peter Roll and James Peebles; building microwave apparatus, need for helium load, mapping the horn and measuring insertion loss. Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias at Bell Laboratories publish background radiation papers ahead of Dicke’s team, other researchers on the topic: Ralph Alpher, Robert Herman, James Follin, George Gamow, Joseph Weber. The American Physical Society (APS) meeting in 1966, measurements from Dicke’s group confirms Penzias/Wilson support of big bang theory. Further discussion on lunar ranging, measuring gravitation, the Nordvedt effect, optical measurements with Roger Dube and Bill Wickes, Steve Boughn and Peter Saulson on infrared background measurements. Paper with Mark Davis (1974). Formation of young galaxies, ongoing DIRBE (Diffuse Infrared Background Explorer) on COBE (Cosmic Background Exteriment) designed to measure background radiation over wide spectral range CO measurements at high galactic latitude looking for dust clouds. CCD photometry by Ed Loh, find scale anistropy on NRAO maser with Juan Uson, large scale anistropy measurements. Discovery of dipole anistropy by Paul Henry and later confirmations, disconfirmation of quadropole effect. Plans for future work: g-2 experiments, measuring g and creating new infrared detector, search for low mass stars. Effects of being a physicist on his family life, hobbies, upcoming second marriage.
In this interview Joseph Silk discusses topics such as: influence of Boy Scouts in childhood; family background; high school education; early interest in mathematics; coaching by high school math teacher; math at Cambridge; influence of Dennis Sciama at Cambridge and decision to go into astronomy; fellow students at Harvard; character of Harvard astronomy department in the 1960s; David Layzer's opposition to the standard big bang model; first interest in the problem of galaxy formation and the union of hydrodynamics, radiative transfer, and cosmology at Woods Hole in summer of 1967; influence of Richard Michie; thesis work on interaction of matter and radiation in galaxy formation; ignorance about the first second of the universe and the origin of the primordial fluctuations; history of the growing confidence in the meaning of the cosmic background radiation; the philosophy of simplicity in physics; the role of the cosmic background rdiation in testing theories of galaxy formation; history of the horizon problem and Silk's attitude toward that problem; change in attitude as a result of the inflationary universe model; attitude toward the inflationary universe model; reasons why the model has become so popular; first introduction to and attitude toward the flatness problem; Silk's acceptance of appropriate initial conditions as explanations of cosmological problems; attitude toward the missing mass required by inflation; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on inhomogeneities; ignorance of nature of inhomogeneities on scales betwen 20 megaparsecs and 2000 megaparsecs; worry over large-scale velocity fields and reported anistropies in the cosmic background radiation as challenges to standard models for the origin of fluctuations; importance of reported distortions in the spectrum of the cosmic background radiation (CBR) and difficulties of explaining such distortions if true; outstanding problems in cosmology: distortions in the CBR, galaxy formation, suitable initial conditions, satisfactory theory of inflation, value of omega; importance of metaphors and good verbal descriptions in scientific communication; interplay of theory and observation in cosmology; ideal design of the universe; question of whether the universe has a point.