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B.A. in physics from New York University, 1940; graduate work at University of California at Berkeley; contacts with J. Robert Oppenheimer at Berkeley and Princeton University; move to industrial physics and Bell Labs; re-entered university life at University of Wisconsin; developed University of California Santa Barbara's Institute for Theoretical Physics. Majority of interview devoted to JASON: motivation for joining; chairmanship of JASON during Vietnam involvement; selection of projects; important projects; technical advice versus policy advice; impact of JASON.
Korean war spurs formation of study group at Princeton University (John A. Wheeler) for military research, 1951. H-bomb division & controlled fusion. Project Matterhorn; the first Stellarator device (Enrico Fermi). Formation of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (Ernest O. Lawrence, Edward Teller). Plasma confinement problems (Martin Krushal, Martin Schwarzschild, Teller); Jim Tuck. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) arranged meeting between Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (Tuck) and Princeton (Spitzer) groups.