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Family background; grows up in California; early interest in electronics. Undergraduate and graduate studies at Caltech. Strong interest in history of science as undergraduate. Ph.D. in physics, 1932. University of California at Berkeley, 1932-1934. MIT from 1934; founder of the Radioactivity Center. Starts first course designated "nuclear physics," January 1935. Strong interest in study of radium poisoning; radium tolerance in humans, cancer research. World War II work, postwar work; establishment of Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Born in Vienna in 1917; move to America at age 14; undergraduate and masters degrees at Caltech; relations with Harald U. Sverdrup at Scripps and Ph.D. there. Enlisted in Army during World War II; war work on submarine problems with Navy. Joined JASON at Keith Brueckner's invitation, 1961. Greater part of interview devoted to JASON: work, organization and external relations. Also prominently mentioned are: John Von Neumann; and United States Navy.
Youth and early education; undergraduate years at Caltech, 1924-1929; influence of Arthur A. Noyes, Linus Pauling; graduate training and molecular beam work at Princeton University with Karl Compton, Edward U. Condon, Robert Van de Graaff, 1929-1932. National Research Council Fellow at University of California at Berkeley, 1932-1934; at Radiation Laboratory with Ernest O. Lawrence, J. Robert Oppenheimer; on Berkeley staff as teacher and working on cyclotrons, nuclear physics and radiochemistry, 1934-1940.