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Topics discussed include: education and career in astronomy.
Early life in California, undergraduate work at Caltech (1947-51), graduate work at Caltech in physics and astronomy, including work at Mt Wilson-Palomar (1951-54), Accounts of Palomar sky survey (1953-56) and work on galaxies Impressions of instructors, among them Rubble, Zwicky, Baade, Minkowski Abell joined UCLA astronomy department in 1956 and describes its history, faculty, and expansion Discussion of Abell’s professional interest in popularization of astronomy since 1960’s (textbook, BBC-Open University work, campaign against astrology, summer science program) and technical work on super-clusters and cosmology.
Abt discusses his childhood and youth in Germany and then the United States; his student days at Northwestern University and his graduate work at Caltech; use of the Mt. Wilson 100-inch telescope; research topics include W Virginis stars and Zeta Auriga; his work at Lick Observatory and later at Yerkes; use of the McDonald 82-inch telescope for postdoc research; site survey for the building of Kitt Peak in 1959; life at Kitt Peak in its early years including building and design of new instruments; his work as editor of The Astrophysical Journal and the changes that took place over the years; and the final part discusses his personal life and public service efforts.
Family background, early life in Brooklyn and Detroit, high school; undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, switch from mathematics to physics. Graduate work at Michigan, 1931-1933; thesis research combines quantum mechanics and infrared spectroscopy. Difficulty finding academic job during Depression; works for Lowell Observatory while at Michigan, 1933-1936; devises long-path absorption cell, research in infrared spectrum of earth's atmosphere. Joins faculty of Johns Hopkins University (Gerhard Dietz), 1935-1936. To Lowell Observatory (Roger Lowell Putnam, V. M. Slipher, E. C. Slipher, C. O. Lampland), 1936; living conditions, constructing the prism spectrometer, studies in earth atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry of Venus, discovery of 20 micron window (Carl Sagan); constructing the grating spectrometer. Adel forced out of Lowell; problems encountered by Adel at Lowell; anti-Semitism. Wartime work in Washington, DC, submarine degaussing (Arthur Bennett), summer 1942. Returns to Michigan, 1941-1945, joins program for training military meteorologists; research to determine causes for failure of lcm radar. Joins McMath-Hulbert Observatory, 1946, discusses staff, autocratic research style. Accepts Air Force contract to build lab at Holloman Air Force Base, Alamagordo, NM to examine effective radiation temperatures of ozone, 1947-1948. Joins faculty of Arizona State College in Flagstaff, 1948; fate of the ozone lab. Air Force funding of Atmospheric Research Observatory at Arizona State College, 1950, establishing a database of ozone research; Yerkes Observatory Symposium, 1947; Gerard Kuiper, Otto Struve. Adel's place in infrared astronomy. Also prominently mentioned are: Ernest F. Barker; Professor Dennison; Edward Epstein; Henry Giclas; Leo Goldberg; Percival Lowell; Ohren Mohler; Henry Norris Russell; Edward Teller; George Uhlenbeck; Harry Wexler
A short interview centering on training at Leiden; recollections of teachers -- Oort, van de Hulst, Osterhoff; growth of Dutch radio astronomy; present state of astronomy in Holland.
Interview centers around experiences as a child on Mount Hamilton (Lick Observatory) just after the turn of the century; schooling on Mount Hamilton; father's observing with 36-inch refractor; Lick public observing nights; general life on Mount Haiilton; Mrs Phoebe Hearst's support for private schooling; father's recollections about Lick astronomers; World War I.
Interview centers around experiences as a child on Mount Hamilton (Lick Observatory) just after the turn of the century; father’s scientific life (Robert Grant Aitken) and personal life; the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; Halley’s Comet, 1910; contact with the families of astronomers; W.W. Campbell; H.D. Curtis; experiences in World War I; Mrs. Aitken’s astronomical training
Mildred Allen was born in Massachusetts in 1894, the elder of two daughters of an MIT professor of civil engineering who had met her mother while working in New Mexico. She graduated from Vassar College in 1916 with training in mathematics and physics. Her Ph.D. in physics (1922) was granted by Clark University where she studied with A. G. Webster, but her thesis research was one at MIT. She taught at Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley and Oberlin Colleges during the 1920s and early 30s, as well as studying further at the University of Chicago and Yale. She did research at the Bartol Foundation, 1927-30, and at Harvard University, 1931-33. She then taught at Mt. Holyoke from 1933 until her retirement in 1959. Since then she has done additional research, most recently (paper published 1971) on the behavior of torsion pendulums especially during solar eclipses.
Childhood; early interest in science (astronomy). Member of Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1928. Special student at University of California at Berkeley, 1931, with Donald H. Menzel’s help. Regular student from 1932; comments on teachers and fellow students at Berkeley Student Observatory. Summer assistantship at Lick Observatory (Nicholas Mayall, Arthur B. Wyse), life at Lick Observatory. To Harvard University in 1937 for graduate studies; comparison between Harvard and Berkeley/Lick; teaching assistant at Radcliffe; 3-year membership in Harvard Society of Fellows, from 1939, of enormous importance for his development; works with Menzel and James G. Baker on the Theory of Physical Processes in Gaseous Nebulae, 1937; Analysis of the Atmospheres of the A-type Dwarfs Gamma Geminorum and Sirius based on data from Louis Berman; Jesse Greenstein. Comments on Harvard Summer Schools, Harlow Shapley’ s Square.” Volunteer teacher of elementary physics courses from 1942 at Harvard. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, 1943-1945; work involved evaluation of the chemists and the Counting Group’s output from the electromagnetic separation process. Job offer from University of Indiana (Frank Edmunson) accepted due to cutback at Radiation Laboratory. Indiana years, 1945-1948, very productive (drafts for two astrophysics books); problems getting telescope time at Yerkes Observatory and unsatisfactory living conditions leads to acceptance of a promising tenured position at Michigan, a center with very active research due to Leo Goldberg; Robert McMath’s influence in the department; Keith Pierce and Aller’s work on infrared solar spectrum. Work performed at Mt. Wilson Observatory and Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Goldberg resigns in 1959; comments on Aller’s decision to leave Michigan; discussions of funding; “over-head” (Aller’s talk at an AAS Meeting); comparison of Lick Observatory and Kitt Peak Observatory policies. Work at Mt. Stromio Observatory, Australia on sabbatical visits, 1960, 1968-1969, 1977-1978. Overview of opinions of the present state of astronomy. Comments on personal life, wife and children.