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Family background, early life in Brooklyn and Detroit, high school; undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, switch from mathematics to physics. Graduate work at Michigan, 1931-1933; thesis research combines quantum mechanics and infrared spectroscopy. Difficulty finding academic job during Depression; works for Lowell Observatory while at Michigan, 1933-1936; devises long-path absorption cell, research in infrared spectrum of earth's atmosphere. Joins faculty of Johns Hopkins University (Gerhard Dietz), 1935-1936. To Lowell Observatory (Roger Lowell Putnam, V. M. Slipher, E. C.
Mildred Allen was born in Massachusetts in 1894, the elder of two daughters of an MIT professor of civil engineering who had met her mother while working in New Mexico. She graduated from Vassar College in 1916 with training in mathematics and physics. Her Ph.D. in physics (1922) was granted by Clark University where she studied with A. G. Webster, but her thesis research was one at MIT. She taught at Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley and Oberlin Colleges during the 1920s and early 30s, as well as studying further at the University of Chicago and Yale.
Childhood; early interest in science (astronomy). Member of Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1928. Special student at University of California at Berkeley, 1931, with Donald H. Menzel’s help. Regular student from 1932; comments on teachers and fellow students at Berkeley Student Observatory. Summer assistantship at Lick Observatory (Nicholas Mayall, Arthur B. Wyse), life at Lick Observatory.
Discusses youth, college and graduate studies at Michigan (to 1930); work with Goudsmit, NRC Fellowships at Caltech (1930-1931) and MIT (1931-1932); Lloyd Fellowship at Michigan (1932-1933); work with Sawyer (1933-1934). Influence of Michigan summer sessions. Teaching and research at Columbia (1934-1935), move to Cornell (1935-1940); work with Bethe on REVIEW articles; involvement in nuclear physics; with Baker measures shape of neutron resonance by time-of-flight method, comparison with Fermi's results.
Research on nonlinear optics at the University of Michigan, 1961 to 1964, laser education at Berkeley, 1964-1966; color centers, laser damages, and dye lasers at Raytheon, 1966-1973, and medical applications at University of Southern California, after 1973. Experimental laser techniques and their evolution and the institutional context of research at each of these sites. Also prominently mentioned are: John A. Armstrong, Nicolaas Bloembergen, Colin Bowness, William B.
Recollections of physics community in 1920s and early 1930s; opportunities for physics work in Europe; awareness of political climate in Germany (1932); relationship with Werner Heisenberg at University of Leipzig; awarded Rockefeller Fellowship to study at University of Rome; contacts with physicists after Leipzig and before Rome; John Von Neumann's list of refugee physicists; offered appointment to position at Stanford University; visit to University of Copenhagen and Niels Bohr's advice to accept appointment; relinquishing of second half of fellowship; influenced by Bohr, Heisenberg and