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Family background; grows up in California; early interest in electronics. Undergraduate and graduate studies at Caltech. Strong interest in history of science as undergraduate. Ph.D. in physics, 1932. University of California at Berkeley, 1932-1934. MIT from 1934; founder of the Radioactivity Center. Starts first course designated "nuclear physics," January 1935. Strong interest in study of radium poisoning; radium tolerance in humans, cancer research. World War II work, postwar work; establishment of Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Engineering.
This interview focuses on Morrison's scientific papers, written primarily during his years at Cornell University, 1946-1964. Also covered is his graduate work with Robert Oppenheimer, getting a position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1940-1942), being recruited for the Manhattan Project (1942-1946) and ultimately after WWII going to Cornell to work with Hans Bethe. Topics discussed include: helium isotope research; cosmic ray research; gamma ray astronomy; SETI; review of his best papers; reviewing books for Scientific American; Charles Eames; films and lectures including