Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.)

Interviewed by
Robert Smith
Interview date
Flagstaff, Arizona

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