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Born in Oregon 1912, entered Purdue University, 1932, studying solid state physics, teaching assistant work with Lothar Nordheim on crystal structure, 1937; Ph.D. thesis, 1937 (published 1940); physics department under Karl Lark-Horovitz grows in the 1930s, visiting lecturers (refugees from Germany and Europe: Lothar Nordheim, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner). First cyclotron (homemade), 1935.
Work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory. Significant contributions to solid state physics. The interview deals briefly with Purcell's early acquaintance with Karl Lark-Horovitz at Purdue, while Purcell was an undergraduate electrical engineering major there. The bulk of the interview concerns Purcell's work at the MIT Rad Lab during World War II: how he started working there in 1940, his work with the magnetron group, the problems with the transmit receive switch, theory vs.
Testing klystrons at Wright Field for blind landing, at request of Wilmer L. Burrow of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sperry Gyroscope research contract with Stanford University, San Carlos and Garden City plants. Contact with solid state physics through use of old-fashion crystal detectors in the klystron. Bell Laboratories and other centers for research in microwaves; John Pierce and other scientists in semiconductor work.