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Topics discussed include: Jeffrey's education at the University of Cambridge; Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin; Werner Heisenberg; Paul Dirac; Erwin Schrodinger; Douglas Hartree; Kapitza Club; her research in quantum theory; Maria Goeppert Mayer; George Gamow; Edward Milne; Lev Landau; her husband Sir Harold Jeffreys and his work.
Initial experiences with science during student years at University of Michigan; brief period as high school teacher; spent 1910 at Eberhard Karls Universitat in Tübingen under Friedrich Paschen, began work in infrared spectroscopy. Return to University of Michigan, 1910; appointment as chairman of Department of Physics, 1917, scientific contributions of faculty such as Ralph Sawyer, Samuel Goudsmit, George Uhlenbeck, Otto Laporte and others during 1920s; development of the department as a research institution and relationships among members.
Early training as a physicist; quartz-fibre electrometer; high-voltage installations, above 200 kilovolts; high-voltage accelerator, especially Van de Graaff machines; cloud chamber; fission 1939; reminiscences of Niels Bohr; leaving Europe 1939; war work at National Bureau of Standards 1940; rocket work 1940’s; post-war rehabilitation of laboratory facilities; technological improvements after the war; learning nuclear physics after the war; nuclear spin; development of shell model; rotational model 1952; gamma-ray detection; changes in research styles; research plans for the present (1967)
Aspects of Peierls life and work in theoretical physics. Physicists and physics research in Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham and other British institutions, beginning in 1933 after Peierls’ Rockefeller Fellowship in Rome and Cambridge. Observations on Russian physics, marriage to a Russian physicist, trips to Russia in the 1930’s. Attitude toward fission and his work with Frisch on the possibility of developing the atomic bomb; impressions of the U.S. in 1942 and his war work in atomic energy research.
Solid state physics in its early days in Arnold Sommerfeld’s and Werner Heisenberg’s groups, where Peierls was a student in the late 1920s.
Part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics oral history collection, 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.
Childhood in New York City; studying astronomy and literature at Harvard (1925-1929, M.A. 1930); work during the Depression in real estate and at Columbia; graduate-education in the new astrophysics at Harvard (1934-1937), contacts with H. Shapley, C. Payne, H.N. Russell; work at Yerkes from 1937: nebula spectroscopy, stellar composition, stellar atmospheres; contacts with 0. Struve, S. Chandrasekhar, B. Stromgren; optical design work during World War II. Move to Cal Tech, 1947, contacts with W. Baade, I. Bowen, F. Zwicky, N. Schmidt, L.
After discussing his upbringing, undergraduate education in physics at the University of Minnesota, and postgraduate education and work at the University of Virginia during World War II, Ney describes returning to Minnesota in 1946 and his contributions in the cloud chambers field for the balloon research then being conducted with Jean Piccard and others. He then reviews relations with the Rochester group conducting similar experiments, reasons for using balloons instead of rockets, involvement in the Orbiting Satellite observatory program, and training the Mercury and Gemini astronauts.
Morrison had an almost unique experience during the Manhattan Project, participating in many of the central events of building and using the atomic bomb. From late 1942 to 1946, Morrison's responsibilities took him to the University of Chicago Metallurgical Lab, Los Alamos, General Groves' Washington office, Oak Ridge, Trinity site, Wendover, Tinian, Hiroshima and Hanford. From these vantage points he had the opportunity to meet and observe many of the interesting persons involved in the Project and reflects about them in this interview.