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Childhood and early education in New York, undergraduate education in philosophy at Columbia College, 1932-1936; years of graduate study in physics at Columbia University, 1936-1937; influence of Isidor I.
<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.
This interview was conducted at intervals during a symposium on the History of Nuclear Physics at the University of Minnesota. It covers Wilson's career until his departure from the University of California at Berkeley in 1940, particularly his youth on a Montana ranch; his early interest in science and undergraduate education at Berkeley; his graduate work under E.O. Lawrence on the theory of the cyclotron and proton-proton scattering; and social relations around the Radiation Laboratory and the Berkeley physics department from 1933 to 1940.