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In this interview Robert Bacher discusses science policy and physicists' involvement in it after World War II through 1970. Topics discussed include: General Leslie Groves; international control of atomic energy; Chauncey Star; Manson Benedict; Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy (Acheson–Lilienthal Report); Dean Acheson; David Lilienthal; J. Robert Oppenheimer; Charles Thomas; International Atomic Energy Agency; Bernard Baruch; Baruch Proposal; Richard Tolman; Hans Kramers; Dmitri Skobeltsyn; Atomic Energy Commission; Robert Wilson; Cornell University; Sam Goudsmit; Columbia University; I. I. Rabi; Hans Bethe; Roswell Clifton Gibbs; Enrico Fermi; Milton Stanley Livingston; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Willy Higinbotham; Lee DuBridge; California Institute of Technology; Richard Feynman; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lewis Strauss; William W. Waymack; Sumner Pike; Carroll Wilson; President Harry S. Truman; James Fisk; Office of Naval Research; President Dwight Eisenhower; Jim Killian; Ernest Lawrence; arms control.
Early interest in radio; Carnegie Institute of Technology's physics department, 1932-1936; first department research program; summer research experience, 1932-1936; graduate work at University at Berkeley under J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1936-1940; sources of fellowship support; Berkeley journal club; interactions of theorists and experimentalists at Berkeley, and with Stanford University and Caltech, late 1930s; reactions to fission; nuclear physics at University of Illinois, 1941-1942; sources of funds for accelerators to 1941; recruitment to University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, 1942; Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, 1944-1946, personnel, research, plans and expectations for peacetime work; scale and financing of physics at Cornell University in immediate postwar period; rise of particle physics after 1949; differences between pre- and postwar physics, job expectations, style of research; evolution of accelerating and detecting methods, 1920s to 1950s; connections between physics and astronomy. Also prominently mentioned are: Paul Aebersold, Luis Walter Alvarez, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Raymond Thayer Birge, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Kevin Burns, Robert F. Christy, Immanuel Estermann, Enrico Fermi, Richard Phillips Feynman, William Alfred Fowler, Otto Robert Frisch, Maurice Goldhaber, Harry Hower, Fred Hoyle, Donald W. Kerst, Charles Christian Lauritsen, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Philip A. Morrison, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Ernest Rutherford, Emilio Gino Segrè, Otto Stern, Leo Szilard, Robert Rathbun Wilson; Allegheny Observatory, California Institute of Technology, Cavendish Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University, International Conference on High Energy Physics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, United States Army, United States Navy, United States Office of Naval Research, University of Birmingham, University of California at San Diego, University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Nuclear Engineering Program.