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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.
<p>Then, the project finally got authorized in 1961 — but again after a rather amusing set of coincidences. At that time the Stanford project was sort of known as the Republican project because Eisenhower had proposed it to a Democratic Congress. At that time there was a project that the Democrats wanted in Congress which the Republican administration did not want. This was for the Hanford Reactor to generate power into the electrical net, because it was considered to be socialized electricity by the Republicans, to have power generated by a production reactor.
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.