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Early influences and education; A.B. from Willamette University in physics and math, 1926; fellowship and M.A. from Stanford University; graduate study at Columbia University on x-rays. Work at Bell Laboratories, starting 1929, on vacuum tube amplifiers with John B. Johnson; carbon microphones, semiconductors and the solar battery; work atmosphere and supervisors, Peter J. W. Debye; technical colloquia. History of “thermistors” and transistors. First color TV demonstration. Work during World War II on bombing using radar techniques and infrared. Organization of the Morgan-Shockley solid state group, 1946; appointment as department head at Bell Labs; academic appointment at Stanford University. Also prominently mentioned are: Joseph A. Becker, Hendrik Wade Bode, Walter Houser Brattain, Oliver E. Buckley, Chapin, Carl Christensen, Karl Kelchner Darrow, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Henry Eyring, James Brown Fisk, Harvey Fletcher, Gaylon T. Ford, Lester Halbert Germer, Gibney, Frederick Goucher, H. E. Ives, Frank Jewett, Mervin J. Kelly, Jack Morton, Foster Cary Nix, Ogg, Russell S. Ohl, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld, Morris Tanenbaum, Gordon K. Teal, Russell Harrison Varian, Oliver Weisner, Dean E. Wooldridge; Pacific Academy in Newberg, and Stanford Solid State Industrial Affiliates.
Mainly concerns Nix's work at Bell Laboratories. Educational background; recollections of John B. Johnson, Nix's work on barriers for gaseous diffusion plants during World War II; physics seminars at Bell Labs in the 1930s, and the relation of Bell Labs to the international physics community. Also prominently mentioned are: John Bardeen, Joseph A. Becker, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Eugene Booth, Walter Bothe, Walter Houser Brattain, Oliver E. Buckley, James Chadwick, Marie Sklodowska Curie, Pierre Curie, Karl Kelchner Darrow, Clinton Joseph Davisson, John R. Dunning, James Brown Fisk, Harvey Fletcher, Lester Halbert Germer, Stephane Groueff, Leslie Richard Groves, Fritz Haber, Werner Heisenberg, Alan Holden, H. E. Ives, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Mervin J. Kelly, Charles Kittel, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Sir Nevill Francis Mott, Linus Pauling, Sir Rudolf Ernst Peierls, Robert Wichard Pohl, Isidor Isaac Rabi, William Shockley, John Clarke Slater, Gordon K. Teale, Charles Hard Townes, E. C. Wente, Addison Hughson White, Eugene Paul Wigner, Dean E. Wooldridge; Columbia University, Cornell University, Keley Corporation, Manhattan Project, Reviews of Modern Physics, and University of Alabama.
Born in London 1910; Childhood in Palo Alto, California; undergraduate at UCLA, Caltech, graduate school MIT (Slater, thesis advisor); 1936 to Bell Labs; war related work at Whippany (circa 1 year), patents on radar ideas (Columbia U. Project); fission work with Fisk (National Bureau of Standards); the transistor; Solid State Physics group organized 1945 at Bell Labs under Shockley and Stan Morgan.
Family background and early education; studying chemistry at Occidental College. Work at Bell Labs (1930’s), the job freeze during the 1930’s Depression. Morgan’s work on dielectric constants. Columbia University, Rabi’s course, comparison of academic and industrial scientists. Colloquia and study groups, Darrow, Nix, Shockley. Transfer to Metallurgy Department, work on single crystals of zinc; The Bell Laboratories Record; work under Germer and Davisson, their experiments; work on carbon deposits on filaments using x-ray diffraction, Grisdale, W. E. Campbell. Evolution in role of basic research at Bell Labs; Kelly’s role; Buckley; Bell Labs conference (1954), AIP symposium. Awareness of work on copper oxide rectifiers by Becker, Davisson, Brattain; work on microphone carbon; Holden’s work on quartz; changes in the solid state program. Work during the war years; material research of Scaff and Grisdale; pn junction; technological application. Effects of war on solid state research, interactions with other solid state centers. Postwar years, work in Woolen’s group (1945), work in Wooldridge’s group; reasons for Bardeen’s leaving; Fisk’s group; development of transistor under Shockley.