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In this interview, Geoffrey Burbidge discusses the history of physics over the course of his career. Topics discussed include: Astronomical Society of the Pacific; E. Margaret Burbridge; American Astronomical Society; Hale Observatory; Lick Observatory; radio astronomy; Naval Research Laboratory; x-ray astronomy; Bruno Rossi; optical astronomy; Kitt Peak National Observatory; air and light pollution; Allan Sandage; Harvard University; Princeton University; Lord Kelvin; S.
Comments on parents and teachers; schooling in Rochester; studies at University of Rochester and at Princeton University with comments on faculty and fellow students; thesis collaboration with John Marshall; Victor Weisskopf, M.I.T. and the Radiation Laboratory during war, microwave techniques applied to atomic physics.
Interview covers Charles Misner's family background and childhood interest in science; influential chemistry teacher in high school; education at Notre Dame and mentorship with Arnold Ross; early interest in mathematics; encouragement of parents to go into science or to become a priest; graduate education at Princeton; work with John Wheeler on relativity and topology; introduction to cosmology by Jim Peebles in 1965; attitude toward the steady state model; Wheeler's preference for a closed universe; history of the flatness problem (the "Dicke paradox"); initial attitude toward the flatness
Family background and early education; undergraduate studies in engineering at University of Michigan, faculty who influenced him; doctoral thesis at University of Michigan with Richard Crane on the g-2 experiment. Postdoctoral instructor; decision to work with Robert Dicke on gravitation at Princeton; funding in the Princeton Department, faculty, the ongoing NSF grant for Gravity, Relativity and Cosmology research. The lunar ranging experiment; assembling the team, background observations with balloons and COBE, construction for the 1969 Apollo flight.