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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.
Anderson talks almost exclusively about his work during the thirties with particles of high energy involved in nuclear reactions. He covers in detail his discovery of the positive electron, his pair production work with gamma rays, his expedition to Pike’s Peak with Neddermeyer and their discovery of the mesotron. He mentions that it was in his speech accepting the Nobel Prize in 1936 that he first mentioned the possibility of negative and positive particles of intermediate mass. After noting the absence of any cosmic ray work during the war years, he mentions the postwar development of cosmic ray work into high energy physics.
The interview focuses on Archambeau's geophysical training at the California Institute of Technology and his career as a seismologist, covering the period before 1970. Major emphasis lies on his involvement in issues related to the seismic detection of underground nuclear explosions and his advocacy for a nuclear test ban treaty. He discusses the Department of Defense's "Project Vela Uniform," which aimed at improving seismic detection capabilities, and he describes Vela's impact on his career on seismology in general.
Childhood and unconventional early education; Harvard University: impressions of courses and social climate; Caltech, Mt. Wilson, comments on Walter Baade and background of Baade’s theory; differences between astronomy and astrophysics; early professional career work on Magellanic clouds; interest in peculiar galaxies, Viktor A. Ambartsumian at the 1957 Solvay Conference; Fritz Zwicky; Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies; comments on published papers: Distribution of Quasars compared to Maarten Schmidt’s work with similar title; Edoard Stephan’s quintet; work on discrepant red shift with respect to the Friedman universe; future research interest, non-professional interests. Also prominently mentioned are: Basch, Bart Jan Bok, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, William Alfred Fowler, Jesse Leonard Greenstein, Edwin Powell Hubble, Milton Lasell Humason, Bernard Lovell, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Jan Hendrik Oort, Edison Petit, Robert Richardson, Allan Sandage, Maarten Schmidt, Harlow Shapley, Dick Stoy, Vanderlaan, Gerard Henri de Vaucouleurs; Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, Institut de Physique at Solvay, and United States Navy.
In this interview, Horace Babcock discusses how the field of astrophysics has changed over the course of his career. Topics discussed include: research administration; Mount Wilson Observatory; Ira S. Bowen; National Science Foundation; California Institute of Technology; stellar evolution; photomultiplier tubes; Joel Stebbins; Albert E. Whitford; Gerald Kron; Allan Sandage; Martin Schwarzschild; spectrographs; radio astronomy; x-ray astronomy; galactic evolution; stellar material; Robert McMath; societies; American Astronomical Society; International Astronomical Union; Jan Oort; Theodore Dunham Jr.; Alexander Pogo.
This interview begins with a discussion of Babcock's childhood and youth around Mt. Wilson Observatory, with comments on father (Harold D. Babcock), Walter S. Adams, and Edwin P. Hubble. Also discussed in this interview: education at Caltech, University of California at Berkeley and Lick Observatory (1934-1939), and at Yerkes and MacDonald Observatories; work at MIT and Caltech on World War II hardware; astronomical instrumentation work, especially postwar Mt. Wilson-Palomar diffraction gratings; discovery of magnetic stars and studies of variations; work on solar magnetic fields (with father) and theory of solar cycle; comments on cosmology; discussion of Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories since the 1920s, especially under Ira Bowen's and Babcock's directorship (1963); internal administration; staff relations; dealings with Carnegie Institution and Caltech; discussion of Hale Observatories, 1930-1977; role of government funding in astronomy; guest investigators; allocation of telescope time; planning, funding, and construction of the Carnegie Southern Observatory at Las Campanas, 1963-1977. Also prominently mentioned are: Philip Abelson, Ed Ackerman, Carl David Anderson, Wilhelm Heinrich Walter Baade, Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett, Vannevar Bush, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Crawford Greenewalt, Jesse Leonard Greenstein, George Ellery Hale, Caryl Haskins, Louis Henyey, Armin O. Leuschner, Nicholas Ulrich Mayall, Charles Edward Kenneth Mees, Paul Merrill, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Edgar Nichols, Elmer Prall, Bruce Rule, Frederick H. Seares, Sinclair Smith, Otto Struve, Charles Hard Townes, George van Biesbroeck, H. A. Wood, Fritz Zwicky; Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Astrophysical Journal, Bausch and Lomb Co., Eastman Kodak Co., Ford Foundation, Hale Observatories, Hale Solar Laboratory, Inyokern Project, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Las Campanas Observatory, Lick Observatory Bulletin, McDonald Observatory, Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, National Science Foundation (U.S.), 48-inch Schmidt Telescope, 100-inch Telescope, 120-inch Telescope, 200-inch Telescope, and University of California at Berkeley, CA.
Discusses youth, college and graduate studies at Michigan (to 1930); work with Goudsmit, NRC Fellowships at Caltech (1930-1931) and MIT (1931-1932); Lloyd Fellowship at Michigan (1932-1933); work with Sawyer (1933-1934). Influence of Michigan summer sessions. Teaching and research at Columbia (1934-1935), move to Cornell (1935-1940); work with Bethe on REVIEW articles; involvement in nuclear physics; with Baker measures shape of neutron resonance by time-of-flight method, comparison with Fermi's results. Effects of World War II on development of nuclear physics; emergence of high energy physics from earlier trends.
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.
This interview surveys Baum's career as a physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and astronomer at Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories. After sketching Baum's early life, the discussion concentrates on Baum's role in the development of spectroscopy research at NRL, specifically his work on the UV spectrum of the sun - including the first successful UV spectra of the sun. Aspects of his experience in experimentation with V-2s and Aerobees, and his thesis research on rockets at CALTECH (PhD, 1950, physics) are also explored. Additional topics discussed include: Optics Division, NRL; White Sands Proving Ground (NM); relationships with, and costs and descriptions of Baird Atomic; V-2 missile experiments, development and launch; meetings with Werner Von Braun; and contacts with R.W. Wood, J. Strong, Lyman, Stockbarger, and Tousey.
Relation of the individual to the whole; California Institute of Technology (1939-1940); negative experience at Caltech; interest in Chinese and Japanese culture; Thesis – calculate scattering of light from a nebular gas cloud; University of California Berkeley (1941-1943); political interests and activity including Marxism, socialism, communism; better social, educational and natural environment at Berkeley; compute scattering of protons from deutrons [sic]; Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (1943-1946); electrostatic focusing, electric arc, nature of plasma, particle spin; effects of the atomic bombs on science and society; Research associate for J. Robert Oppenheimer (1946-1947); superconductivity; intuitive problem solving frowned upon by scientists; disillusionment with scientists; Princeton University Institute for Advanced Study (1947-1950); wrote Quantum Theory; structure of elementary particles; renormalization problem; meeting of theoretical physicists in the Pocono Mountains circa 1948, attended by notable scientists including Julian Schwinger, Victor Weisskopf, Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman; hierarchy of scientists; end of his U.S. career.