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In this interview Katherine Harris discusses topics such as: her childhood and family background; going to school at Radcliffe College; getting her doctorate at Harvard; her time at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Haskins Laboratories; speech production; her time with the Acoustical Society of America and her presidency; Ira Hirsh; J. C. R. Licklider; George Miller; Fred Skinner; Franklin Cooper.
Family background, early life in Brooklyn and Detroit, high school; undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, switch from mathematics to physics. Graduate work at Michigan, 1931-1933; thesis research combines quantum mechanics and infrared spectroscopy. Difficulty finding academic job during Depression; works for Lowell Observatory while at Michigan, 1933-1936; devises long-path absorption cell, research in infrared spectrum of earth's atmosphere. Joins faculty of Johns Hopkins University (Gerhard Dietz), 1935-1936. To Lowell Observatory (Roger Lowell Putnam, V. M. Slipher, E. C. Slipher, C. O. Lampland), 1936; living conditions, constructing the prism spectrometer, studies in earth atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry of Venus, discovery of 20 micron window (Carl Sagan); constructing the grating spectrometer. Adel forced out of Lowell; problems encountered by Adel at Lowell; anti-Semitism. Wartime work in Washington, DC, submarine degaussing (Arthur Bennett), summer 1942. Returns to Michigan, 1941-1945, joins program for training military meteorologists; research to determine causes for failure of lcm radar. Joins McMath-Hulbert Observatory, 1946, discusses staff, autocratic research style. Accepts Air Force contract to build lab at Holloman Air Force Base, Alamagordo, NM to examine effective radiation temperatures of ozone, 1947-1948. Joins faculty of Arizona State College in Flagstaff, 1948; fate of the ozone lab. Air Force funding of Atmospheric Research Observatory at Arizona State College, 1950, establishing a database of ozone research; Yerkes Observatory Symposium, 1947; Gerard Kuiper, Otto Struve. Adel's place in infrared astronomy. Also prominently mentioned are: Ernest F. Barker; Professor Dennison; Edward Epstein; Henry Giclas; Leo Goldberg; Percival Lowell; Ohren Mohler; Henry Norris Russell; Edward Teller; George Uhlenbeck; Harry Wexler
Dr. Eugene Avrett (1933 - ) is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. This interview reviews his personal and professional life and was conducted as part of a study of the history of the SAO during the tenure of Fred Whipple, 1955-1972. The interview covers his family life in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, public schooling and development of interests, influential teachers, and matriculation at Georgia Tech in electrical engineering in 1952. Facility in conceptual subjects like physics, but no special interests. Knowledge of WWII. Summer employment at Glenn L. Martin Aircraft on Matador program. Decision to switch to physics. Graduation in 1957 and entrance to Harvard for graduate study in physics. Advisors included Gerald Holton, Max Krook, George Carrier. Growth of interest in astrophysics slow, due to Krook and exposure to, first research in, and publications in stellar atmospheres. Teaching assistant for Bill Liller. Thesis with Max Krook. Collaboration with Owen Gingerich. Marriage in 1961 to Judith Reno Brett. Ph.D. in 1962, conferences attended that solidified his interests in stellar atmospheres and spectral line formation and non-LTE processes. Hired by Charles Whitney into the “Stellar Theory Division” at SAO. Organization of SAO under Whipple and his managers, including Harris Rosenthal, Charles Lundquist and Paul Tillinghast. Impressions of joint program between Harvard and Smithsonian. Teaching activities. Backup theoretical group for Celescope; extended discussion of Celescope, calibration issues, and the challenge of analyzing the data and the production of the catalogue of UV stellar colors. Nature of the data, methods of post-hoc calibration of the fields. Continued refinement of stellar atmospheres techniques and changing state of knowledge of theoretical energy distributions mitigate value of Celescope data. Role of Celescope staff, mainly Robert Davis, in the processing. History of OAO program; failed launches. Nancy Roman’s role in OAO and suggestion to close down Celescope. Work with student Steve Strom to prepare for Celescope reductions. NASA conference on OAO results. Relations between HCO and SAO and between Leon Goldberg and Fred Whipple. Teaching and thesis direction by SAO staff. Strom and early development of optical astronomy at SAO -- the MMT. SAO collaboration with Arizona rather than with Harvard. Use of OSO data for solar atmospheres research. Layoffs at SAO, deteriorating relations between Harvard and SAO and the formation of the Center for Astrophysics.
Family background and childhood in Fingerlakes, New York region; recollections of religious influences on family; recollections of undergraduate training at Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa); involvement in Tenth Mountain Division [ski troops] during World War II; completes undergraduate education at Princeton; impressions of Princeton geology faculty; interest in attending law school; impressions of graduate training in geology at Yale; recollections of Adolph Knopf, Carl Dunbar, Chester Longwell, Richard Foster Flint, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson; recollections of discussions of climate change and continental drift at Yale; impressions of summer field training at Woods Hole under Libby Hyman; first academic appointment at University of Kansas. Accepts appointment at Columbia University in 1952; impressions of Walter Bucher, W. Maurice Ewing, J. Laurence Kulp; recollections of courses offered at Columbia; interest in radiocarbon dating at Lamont; recollections of paleontological work at Columbia, including impressions of Norman Newell and George Gaylord Simpson; early research programs in invertebrate paleontology and increasing interest in sea level change. Impressions of Lamont research in marine paleontology, including work of Allen BJ, David Ericson, and Goesta Wollin; interactions with Robert Menzies. Impressions as chair of Department of Geology at Columbia; begins research on paleoclimates; recollections of decision to leave Columbia for Brown University. Development of and involvement in CLIMAP project; recollections of James D. Hays, Andrew McIntyre, and Nicholas Shackelton, including Shackelton’s contributions to marine stratigraphy; impressions of William Donn-Maurice Ewing theory of climate change; personal styles of researchers at Columbia and Lamont; relations between professors and research staff members at Lamont; recollections of Jacques Barzun. Impressions of Soviet research involving climate change; recollections of visits to Soviet Union and of interactions with Soviet researchers; impressions of related work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; recollections of research involving Milankovitch cycle, including work by Cesare Emiliani. Also mentioned are: Charles Behre, Wallace Broecker, Bronk-Nesmeyanov Scientific Exchange agreement, Walter Brown, Arthur Buddington, Horace Coryell, Erling Dorf, Robert Drexler, Henry Eyring, Steve Fox, Innocente Garasimov, Bruno Giletti, Arnold Guyot, Harry H. Hess, International Decade of Ocean Exploration [IDOE], International Geophysical Year [IGY], Glen Jepson, Paul Kerr, LJo LaPorte, Robert Matthews, Raymond C. Moore, John E. Nafe, A.C. Newlin, Neil Opdyke, Arie Poldervaart, Project SUNSHINE, John Rodgers, William Ruddiman, Arthur Strahler, Taylor Thom, Felix A. Vening-Meinesz, Alfred Wegener, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, L.R. Wilson, Georg Whst.
Extensive, comprehensive interview on Worzel’s scientific and professional career. Recollections of extended family and childhood in New York; father’s interest in science and literature; early interest in mechanical things; recollection of upbringing during the Great Depression; impressions of high school science courses and interests. Attends Lehigh University as undergraduate; impressions of W. Maurice Ewing as physics professor at Lehigh, early l930s, including his working style; emerging interest in photography and experience in drafting; impressions of Alvyn Vine. Detailed recollections of work as student assistant with Ewing and Vine on refraction seismology, and impressions of George P. Woollard, Richard M. Field, William Bowie, and Ewing; election to Newtonian Society [mathematics] at Lehigh; impressions of science teaching at Lehigh. Recollections of research on undersea acoustics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Ewing’s mathematical abilities; impressions of Felix A. Vening-Meinesz and of field research. Extended recollections of summer research as undergraduate assistant for Ewing, especially involving seismic profiling and underwater photography; relation between Ewing and L. Don Leet; recollections of Hurricane of 1938 at Woods Hole and of Woods Hole machining equipment; involvement in wartime research, including acoustics studies and experience with bathythermographs; experience in equipment design and modification, including award of patents. Extended recollections of involvement in undersea photography in the early 1940s, including reaction of biologists and war-time acquisition of German cameras; impressions of Ewing’s appointment at Columbia University, and transfer of research program to Columbia, 1946; recollections of post-war research programs at Woods Hole; meets wife [Dorothy Crary]. Impressions of graduate courses in geology and geophysics at Columbia, including seminars taught by Walter Bucher, Marshall Kay, and Ewing; extended recollections of instructors and experiences with fellow graduate students; reflections on instrument-building in geophysics, including maintenance of ship-based winches; impressions of Ewing as researcher and director, including relations with governmental and private patrons; becomes temporary consultant to ONR. Recollections of Angelo Ludas and his role in fashioning geophysical instruments; experience with deep-sea coring; impressions of relations between geophysicists and geologists at Columbia. Impressions of the founding and initial research programs of Lamont Geological Observatory [LGO], including geochemical and radiocarbon studies by J. Laurence Kulp and reactions of local townspeople to Lamont; development of biology programs at Lamont, and social life at LGO; relations between Ewing and Harry H. Hess; recollections of interactions with Maurice Ewing and John Ewing, and difficulties of position determination at sea. Begins gravity research of ocean floor, and impressions of isostacy debate in 1930s. Growth of LGO in the 1950s and changing relations between research groups; comparison of LGO with competing research centers in the U.S. and Great Britain; development of SOFAR and SOSUS programs; recollections of efforts to secure and finance R/V Vema ddd details from subsequent sessions; offers of positions from other universities; Recollections of gravity research program at Texas, mid-1970s. Also mentioned are: Henry Moe Aldrich, American Geophysical Union, RJV Atlantis, Austin Bailey, Walter Beckmann, Charles C. Bidwell, Henry Bigelow, Francis Birch, Rene Brilliant, Percy Bridgman, Sir Edward C. Bullard, Paul R. Burckholder, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Albert Crary, Merrill D. Cunningham, Reginald A. Daly, William Donn, Dwight D. Eisenhower, David B. Ericson, Margaret Ewing [née Kidder], W. Arnold Finck, Geological Society of America, Gordon Hamilton, Hamilton watches, Carl A. Heiland, Weikko Aleksanteri Heiskanen, Maurice Hill, Columbus Iselin, Paul Kerr, Borje Kullenberg, Thomas W. Lamont, Gordon Lill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arthur Maxwell, Benjamin L. Miller, Robert Moses, Walter H. Munk, National Science Foundation, Louis L. Nettleton, Office of Naval Research, Chaim Pekeris, Beauregard Perkins, Hans Pettersson, Charles S. Piggot, Lawrence I. Radway, Ostwald Roels, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Robert R. Shrock, Lynn Shurbet, Louis B. Slichter, Staten Island Academy [High School], Harlan True Stetson, Henry Stetson, Nelson Steenland, Swedish Deep Sea Expedition, Howard A. Tate, Merle Tuve, J. Tuzo Wilson, Goesta Wollin.
The interview begins with a discussion of Dr. Hogg’s early interest in astronomy and her initial exposure to astronomical research while an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke. The discussion then turns to her working with Harlow Shapley as a graduate student and the move with her husband to Canada in 1931 where she would remain until the time of the interview. While there is some discussion of her research, the primary focus is more on her experiences in Canada and with Shapley, as well as the various administrative positions that Hogg held in scientific organizations. The interview concludes with Hogg sharing additional thoughts about her experiences with Harlow Shapley.
Interview concentrates on the history of the physics department at Harvard University, and discusses: the department's relationship with the department of history; appointments to the department; movement of the cyclotron to Los Alamos; development of a general education program in science. Harvard personnel discussed include: J. H. Van Vleck, John Slater, Ted Kemble, Kenneth Bainbridge, Roger Hickman, Gerry Holton, Bernard Cohen, James Bryant Conant, Harlow Shapley, George David Birkhoff, P. W. Bridgman, Edward Purcell, Julian Schwinger, I. I. Rabi, Wendell Furry.
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: E. Q. Adams, Josiah Cook, Peter Josef William Debye, Walter Kossel, Irving Langmuir, E. P. Lewis, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Walther Nernst, Wilhelm Ostwald, Eddie Slate, Edgar Smith, J. J. van Laar, Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff, Bill Williams; American Chemical Society meeting (World War I), University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Pennsylvania.
This interview by Ken Plotkin provides a fairly detailed story of the life, education, principal work activity and family of Lou Sutherland. This includes his initial activity in high school, his college career at the University of Washington, initially as a civilian but mostly in a Navy college training program that culminated by graduation, in 1946 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and commission as an Ensign in the Navy after the end of WWII. The interview identifies the beginning of Lou’s activity in acoustics in 1949, after completion of his MS in EE in his first job as a research technician with the Dept. of Speech at the University of Washington. He subsequently continued on in 1955 with work in acoustics for the Boeing Company, and then on, in 1964, to Wyle Laboratories where he retired in 1989 as Chief Scientist for Wyle Research, the acoustics technology arm of Wyle Labs. As the interview details, his work at Boeing, and subsequently at Wyle, has involved work in Aerospace Acoustics including rock and aircraft noise and response of structures and people to such acoustic environments. As described in the interview, Lou’s activity since retirement has continued in these areas and expanded to include structural response to sonic boom and blasts. Lou is married with three children and lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Lou’s other professional activity, including extensive involvement with classroom acoustics and his awards are also described in the interview and/or in the addition.
Includes information on his pre-Harvard education and postdoctoral experience; pre-World War II work at Harvard with students and in building of the cyclotron; wartime work on radar in U.S. and Britain; move to the Manhattan Project and responsibility for Trinity Test site; return to Harvard and start of new cyclotron building.