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Abbadessa discusses politics, budget and funding structure at the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as well as the specifics of funding the Stanford Positron-Electron Asymmetric Ring (SPEAR). This interview was conducted by Elizabeth Paris as part of her dissertation project on the early history of electron colliding beams in the United States. She is working on her doctorate in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.
In this interview Robert Bacher discusses science policy and physicists' involvement in it after World War II through 1970. Topics discussed include: General Leslie Groves; international control of atomic energy; Chauncey Star; Manson Benedict; Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy (Acheson–Lilienthal Report); Dean Acheson; David Lilienthal; J.
Deals mainly with DuBridge's professional affiliations starting before World War II as member of National Research Council (NRC). War work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Lab and relations with other groups, e.g., at the British Telecommunication Research Establishment (TRE). President of California Institute of Technology after Robert Millikan. Relationship with military. Establishment and chairmanship of President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC); affiliations with PSAC and other organizations; PSAC's impact on science policy.
Family background and childhood in Germany, 1919-1934; emigration to U.S. and undergraduate study and life at Princeton University, 1934-1938. Graduate work at California Institute of Technology, 1938-1942; work with Jesse W. M. DuMond, course load, and importance of his thesis. War work at California Institute of Technology; problems because of enemy alien status; work on firing error indicators. War work at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory: atomic bomb explosion, feelings concerning implications.
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.