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Topics discussed include: his family history, his educational background, beginnings of nuclear physics and particle acceleration, Cockcroft-Walton generator, his fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his World War II research at the MIT radiation lab on radar systems, his time at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, his work with various accelerators including the Cosmotron, and his time with the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation.
Childhood in Germany and family background — competitive spirit; war years — internment and radar work with Bondi and Hoyle (1942-1945) at Cambridge — development of theory of hearing and steady state theory; at Greenwich (1952-1956) — research on lunar surface and terrestrial dynamics; positions at Harvard and Cornell — involvement with Arecibo; involvement with governmental agencies including NSF and NASA — changes in government funding. A major part of the interview covers the development and reception of the steady date theory.
Piore's involvement in science research policies; establishment of the Office of Naval Research and its relationship with institutions such as the National Science Foundation, National Science Board, Atomic Energy Commission, and the President's Science Advisory Committee; funding of large-scale research (SLAC and other accelerator centers). Education, from high school (Ethical Culture Society, New York City) and college years at University of Wisconsin (Ph.D. in physics, 1935).
In this interview Robert Pound discusses topics such as: family background and childhood; Harvard University department of physics; undergraduate work at the University of Buffalo; Submarine Signal Company; microwave radar; Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) during World War II; Henry Torrey; Ed Purcell; Ewen Fletcher; Emory Chaffee; Nicolaas Bloembergen; nuclear magnetic resonance; quadrupole moments; crystal fields; I. I. Rabi; ionic crystals; George Watkins; Christopher Dean; Mossbauer effect; E. Bright Wilson; Zeeman effect; K. T.