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Family background and early education; early science interests (telegraph and radio transmission), wins American Chemistry Society Contest in high school. Caltech for both undergraduate and graduate studies, 1926-1934, comments on courses, teachers (Richard C. Tolman, Paul Epstein) and fellow students (Chet Carlson, the inventor of Xerox). Joins Charles Lauritsen's group as graduate student (nuclear physics), gets involved in research projects. J.