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Early years in Vienna; emigration to Sydney, Australia as refugee; training there in theoretical physics, to 1946. Quantum field theory and social interactions under Rudolf Peierls at University of Birmingham, to 1949, and Hans Bethe at Cornell University; relations among U.S. field theorists; nuclear theory applied to experiments. Discovery of triple-alpha process at Caltech, 1951; move into astrophysics and social relations in Cornell physics and astronomy departments. Work on increasing variety of astrophysics problems, some related to cosmology, and on ionosphere; Arecibo observatory.
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.
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).