Royal Astronomical Society

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
University of Leeds, Leeds, England
Abstract

Early life in London during World War I; developing interests in mathematics; training at University of Oxford under John Nicholson, I. O. Griffith and Edward A. Milne; contact with Sydney Chapman and research on solar magnetic field and stellar structure; position at Imperial College with Chapman; comments on stellar structure studies of James Jeans, Edward Milne, and Arthur Eddington; work on Kinetic Theory of Gases and Magnetohydrodynamics and continued work in stellar structure; work during World War II and later contact with Hannes Alfvén; later positions and move to University of Leeds; growth and progress of astronomy in Britain. Also prominently mentioned are: Victor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian, Ludwig Franz Benedikt Biermann, Walter M. Elsasser, Bertil Lindblad, Alla Genrikhova Massevitch, H. S. Ruse, Erwin Schrödinger, Andréi Borísovich Sevérnyi, H. H. Turner; Baptist Church, Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Society (Great Britain), University College of North Wales, University College of Swansea, and University of Oxford.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
American Institute of Physics, New York City, New York
Abstract

In this interview, Geoffrey Burbidge discusses his life and career.  Topics discussed include: his family and childhood; Bristol University; Nevill Mott; University College, London; Harrie Massey; David Robert Bates; theoretical physics seminars at Cambridge University; Richard Feymnan; Freeman Dyson; Dick Dalitz; Abdus Salam; Nicholas Kemmer; becoming interested in astronomy and astrophysics via Margaret Burbidge; Royal Astronomical Society; Clive Gregory; research into stellar parallax, stellar atmospheres; Herbert Dingle; Auger effect; Otto Struve; Harvard University; Bart Bok; Donald Menzel; Harlow Shapley; Yerkes Observatory; development of radio astronomy; I. I. Rabi and big bang skepticism; Chandrasekhar; Gerard Kuiper; Enrico Fermi; Cavendish Laboratory, Martin Ryle; nucleosynthesis; Kapitza Club; Willie Fowler; Fred Hoyle; stellar evolution; steady state cosmology; red shift; Erwin Finlay-Freundlich; Max Born; Mount Wilson Observatory; Allan Sandage; Milt Humason; Ira Bowen; status at women at Hale observatories and at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech); Edwin Hubble; Walter Baade; synchrotron radiation; Rudolph Minkowski; Californium and supernovae; Halton Arp; Hans Suess; Vera Rubin's work on anisotropy; quasars; galaxy formation.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
Indiana University Department of Astronomy, Bloomington, Indiana
Abstract

Early life and education in Manchester; World War I; spectroscopy work at Oxford under Frederick A. Lindemann; visits to Gottingen and Berlin in 1920s; ideas on stellar energy source and stellar structure; work and teaching at Rutgers (1929-1937); World War II research on de-Gaussing, ballistics; moves to Greenwich, then Herstmonceaux observatories; their administration and instruments; solar eclipse work; general relativity theory; return to U.S. Also prominently mentioned are: Herbert Jefcoate Atkinson, Irmin von Holton Atkinson, Mary Kathleen Jane Ashe Atkinson, Niels Henrik David Bohr, John Edward Campbell, Arthur Stanley Eddington, George Gamow, I. O. Griffith, Fritz G. Houtermans, Edwin Powell Hubble, James Hopwood Jeans, H. Spencer Jones, Walther Nernst, Henry Norris Russell, Frederick Soddy, Richard van der Riet Woolley; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Balliol College of University of Oxford, Great Britain Admiralty, Indiana University, Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Greenwich Observatory, United States Proving Ground at Aberdeen, MD Ballistics Research Laboratory, and Universitat Gottingen Observatory.