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Schramm, David N.
Oral history interview with David Schramm, 1988 March 29.
David Schramm discusses his family background; childhood reading of the encyclopedia; high school interest in athletics; flying model planes with father; early interest in great questions; religious background of parents; skepticism of organized religions; influence of uncles in decision to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); education at MIT; interest in math and physics; marriage in college; influence of Philip Morrison at MIT; experimental work in nuclear physics as an undergraduate; influence of Icko Iben; move to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to work with William Fowler; early preference for steady state and oscillating universe models; work with Gerry Wasserburg on nuclear chronology; history of merger of cosmology with particle physics; work on big bang nucleosynthesis; work on supernovae; history of Schramm's work with Gunn and Steigman on limiting the number of neutrino types; early communication between particle physicists and cosmologists in the 1970s; more discussion of work on big bang nucleosynthesis; establishment of the big bang model; importance of grand unified theories in explaining the photon-to-baryon ratio; inflationary universe model and its dependence on baryogenesis; work on neutrino masses and dark matter; introduction to and attitude toward the horizon problem; attitude toward the inflationary universe model; change in attitude toward the horizon problem as a result of the inflationary universe model; introduction to the inflationary universe model; reasons why the inflationary universe model has been so widely accepted; crucial that inflationary model left many problems to be worked out; attitude toward the inflationary universe model; introduction to and attitude toward the flatness problem; work with Gunn and Tinseley on showing that the universe is open; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large-scale inhomogeneities; work of Kirshner et al., Kron and Koo on large-scale structure; importance of the availability of telescope time in determining what problems astronomers are interested in and working on; importance of looking for the background instead of simply the most unusual objects; importance of visual images; importance of interacting with others; interplay of theory and observation in cosmology; difficulty in showing whether inflation is right or not; new areas opened up in cosmology in the last decade; outstanding problems in cosmology: large-scale structure, dark matter, and galaxy formation, nature of the vacuum, phase transitions; ideal design of the universe; question of whether the universe has a point.
(1945- ): Ph.D. in physics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (1971); worked at both Caltech and the University of Texas, Austin; became a professor at the University of Chicago. Research interests have included theoretical studies of astrophysics, with particular emphasis on cosmology, the origin of the elements, cosmic rays, stellar evolution and supernovae, neutrino astrophysics, nucleochronology, the early solar system, black holes, and particle physics.
Fowler, William A.
Geller, Margaret J.
Gunn, J. E. (James Edward), 1938-
Huchra, John P.
Iben, Icko.
Kirshner, Robert P., 1949-
Kron, Gerald Edward, 1913-
Morrison, Philip
Schramm, David N.
Tinsley, Beatrice M.
Wasserburg, Gerald J. (Gerald Joseph), 1927-
California Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Big bang theory
Dark matter (Astronomy)
Galaxies -- Formation
Inflationary universe.
Large scale structure (Astronomy)
Neutrino astrophysics.
Nuclear physics.
Steady state cosmology.
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Transcripts. aat
Lightman, Alan P., 1948-, interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA