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In this interview Leon Fisher and Robert Varney discuss topics such as: Leonard Loeb; Willliam Allis; Sandy Brown; New York University; Wayne Nottingham; Julius Molnar; Phillip Morse; people from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Bell Laboratories; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Norris Bradbury; Dan Alpert; Gerhard Weissler; Lockheed Corporation; John A. Hornbeck; Ben Bederson; Homer Hagstrum; microwaves; radar development; T. D. Lee; Alfred Von Engel; Army Research Office; Office of Naval Research; Air Force Office of Scientific Research; ionized gases; Ted Holstein; cosmic rays; neutrons; Lester Germer; Ronald Geballe; gas discharges; American Physical Society; Karl Darrow; William Shockley.
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.
Topics discussed include: his family history, his educational background, beginnings of nuclear physics and particle acceleration, Cockcroft-Walton generator, his fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his World War II research at the MIT radiation lab on radar systems, his time at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, his work with various accelerators including the Cosmotron, and his time with the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation.
Fundamental work in developing the cyclotron and other accelerators. Early life, education prior to graduate studies at University of California at Berkeley from 1931; work with Ernest O. Lawrence at Berkeley and with Hans A. Bethe at Cornell University. Work on the 42-inch cyclotron at MIT in 1938, subsequent war work, later role in development of new high energy installations at Brookhaven National Laboratory, CERN and University of Cambridge. Also prominently mentioned are: John Paul Blewett, James Chadwick, Eric Clark, John Cockcroft, Donald Cooksey, Ernest Courant, Robley Dunglison Evans, Malcolm Henderson, Marshall G. Holloway, Robert Eugene Marshak, Edwin Mattison McMillan, Mark Oliphant, David Sloan, Hartland Snyder, Tileston, Merle Antony Tuve, Robert Jamison Van de Graaff; Associated Universities, Inc., Atoms For Peace Conference, Cavendish Laboratory, Comptes Rendus, Federation of American Scientists, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory, Ministry of Aircraft Uranium Development Committee (Great Britain), National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, Office of Medical Research, United States Atomic Energy Commission, University of California at Berkeley Journal Club, and University of Rochester.
Marietta Blau, associate professor at the University of Miami, 1955-60; Perlmutter's collaboration with Blau; photographic emulsions at the UM; Brookhaven National Laboratory, Blau's political ideas; Blau in post war Vienna. Also prominently mentioned are: Cecil Powel, Kursunoglou, Carter, Robertson (chairman of the physics department), Leon Trotsky, Leopold Halpern.
Childhood, family life, early influences; to Clark University in physics and mathematics; financial hardships; graduate work at Rice University (W. Heep, H. A. Wilson), M.A., 1941; chooses ferromagnetism over more popular nuclear physics. To Naval Ordnance Laboratory to work on magnetic mines, 1941; discovers electrical engineering (J. Kiethley). Leaves Navy of own accord for Los Alamos; reading "The Primer;" makes electronic instruments; the collaborative environment; making a temperature controller for the first chain reaction; life and work at Los Alamos (Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Bruno Rossi), Alamagordo test; Los Alamos Association of Concerned Scientists; "Los Alamos University." Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1946-1949; nature of his position and funding at MIT; cosmic ray research (Rossi); the Laboratory of Nuclear Science; fixing the synchrotron; consultant for Brookhaven National Laboratory; forced to leave MIT for personal reasons. California Institute of Technology (Robert Bacher), 1949-1963; making electronic instruments for new accelerator laboratory; Fulbright Fellowship year in Rome, 1952; conditions in Italy; discovers resonances in the strong focussing synchrotron (Bruno Touschek); lectures at Saclay. Teaching at Caltech; compares MIT and Caltech; lectures on arms control and disarmament, beginning 1953; proposal for super-proton synchrotron, 1959, later abandoned; reworking Caltech curricula. Joins President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) (Limited War Panel), 1961-1966, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). Reasons for joining JASON; work on anti-submarine warfare, surface ship speed; N. Christofilos; Wellesley-Santa Barbara Summer Study, 1966: getting good data, counter-insurgency, Barrier Study (Robert McNamara), 1966; reasons for leaving JASON, 1969; its influential members; secrecy; relation of JASON work to academic physics work. Pugwash Conferences, 1960-1963; Commission on College Physics; "Feynman Lectures on Physics" (Robert Leighton, Victor Neher, Bacher, Feynman), 1960-1966; decision to leave Caltech (Wolfgang Panofsky). To Stanford Linear Accelerator Center as professor and administrator, 1963; building the laboratory, 1963-1969; electron-positron storage ring (SPEAR); decision to leave SLAC. To University of California, Santa Cruz, as vice chancellor; the psychology of education.
Slater leaves Harvard University for Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1930 (Karl Compton) to build up Physics Department there; work on quantum electrodynamics. Growth of MIT Physics Department in the 1930s and 1940s, relations between experimentalists and theorists; discussion of works and publications during the 1930s. Changes in U.S. physics; overview of post-World War II physics to 1951, and reasons for establishing own research group; establishment of the Radiation Lab, 1940; magnetron work; Bell Labs visits, 1941-1942 and 1943-1945. Planning of postwar development in MIT Physics Department; transition from Radiation Lab to Research Lab of Electronics; formation of laboratories of nuclear science, acoustics, and spectroscopy; the Lincoln Laboratory, the Instrumental Lab; growth of nuclear branch of Physics Department; physics activity in general in postwar years, Solid State and Molecular Theory Group; the Compton Lab.; Materials Science Center established ca. 1958; interdepartmental and interdisciplinary work; visits to Brookhaven National Laboratory; Slater and Per Olov Lowdin’s Florida Group. Also prominently mentioned are: John Bardeen, W. Buechner, Arthur Holly Compton, Edward Uhler Condon, Jens Dahl, Robley Dunglison Evans, James Brown Fisk, George Harrison, Douglas Rayner Hartree, Raymond George Herb, Milton Stanley Livingston, Millard Manning, Jacob Millman, Wayne B. Nottingham, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Schafer, William Shockley, R. A. Smith, Julius Stratton, Robert Jamison Van de Graaff, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, Eugene Paul Wigner; American Physical Society, California Institute of Technology, Florida State University, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Princeton University, University of Bristol, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Chicago.
This interview is part of a small program to document the recent history of the American Astronomical Society. These interviews were used as background studies to help authors of chapters for the centennial history volume of the Society research and organize documentary materials. The volume was published in 1999. Some topics include: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Gran Sassa Laboratory, Osaka University, University of Tokyo. Prominently mentioned are John Bahcall, Masatoshi Koshiba, Alfred Mann, Kozo Miyake, Yorikio Nagashima.
Origin of interest in nuclear physics, discussions of compound nucleus, Copenhagen, 1936; work on interaction of evaporation and nuclear temperature, 1936; Breit-Wigner formula; application of evaporation model to nuclear reactions; postwar work in electrodynamics and nuclear reactions; relative merits of compound nucleus and shell models, 1950-51; explanation of independent particle motion by Pauli principle, 1951; estimates of shell model radiative transition probabilities; optical model and relation to compound nucleus models, 1953-55; emigration to U.S., 1937; initial impressions of American physics community; teaching and research at University of Rochester, 1937-43; visits to Cornell University; elaboration of evaporation model; effect of Bethe-Bacher-Livingston REV. MOD. PHYS. review articles, 1936-37; contact with physicists at American institutions; summer schools in U.S. and Europe; role of conferences; centers of nuclear physics research, 1930s; the atmosphere and social aspects of life at Los Alamos and subsequent effect on physics, 1943-47; effect of war work at MIT on electrodynamics and nuclear models, 1947-55; visits to Brookhaven; collective model; role of nuclear spectroscopy; origins of high-energy physics; relations among nuclear structure, meson physics, and field theory; current (1966) work in nuclear physics in Europe; the future of nuclear physics.