Nuclear magnetic resonance

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Dale Van Harlingen, Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He recounts his childhood in Ohio and his undergraduate education at OSU in physics and his early work on SQUIDS. Van Harlingen discusses his mentor Jim Garland, and he explains his decision to stay at OSU for graduate school to develop SQUID devices to make phase-sensitive measurements. He explains the opportunities that gained him a postdoctoral appointment at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where he developed his expertise in the Josephson Effect, and where he met John Clarke, who offered him a subsequent postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley. Van Harlingen describes his foray using SQUIDS to push the quantum limit, and he explains his decision to join the faculty at Illinois, where he was impressed both with the quality of the research and how nice everyone was. He describes joining the Materials Research Laboratory and the development of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, and he conveys his admiration for Tony Leggett. Van Harlingen discusses his research in NMR microscopy, grain boundary junctions, scanning tunneling microscopy, vortex configurations, and he describes his current interest in unconventional superconductors. At the end of the interview, Van Harlingen conveys his excitement about the national quantum initiative as a major collaboration between universities and National Labs, and he explains his motivation to understand if Majorana fermions actually exist.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

This is an interview with Peter Basser, Principal Investigator at NIH and Section Chief of the Laboratory on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Basser recounts his childhood in Long Island as the child of Austrian-Jewish immigrants. He describes his undergraduate education at Harvard and how he became interested in biology from a physics perspective. He describes his decision to stay on for graduate research where he worked on fluid dynamics in the lab of Tom McMahon. Basser discusses his postgraduate work on medical devices at Hewlett-Packard, and he describes the opportunities that led to his work at the NIH. He describes the research over the course of his tenure in magnetic stimulation and the flow of currents through nerve membranes. Basser discusses his move to NICHHD and the new opportunities becoming a Principal Investigator offered. He explains his long-range work on tensor imaging and anisotropic diffusion in brain tissue and the growing capacity to image tissue in stroke patients. Basser discusses his work in biomimetics and he explains his dual motivations in furthering both basic science and translational research that has clinical value. He explains the unique collaborative opportunities the NIH affords to work with medical doctors. At the end of the interview, Basser emphasizes the importance of continuum mechanics as a scientific concept that informs all aspects of his work, and he explains why he is excited in the future about new opportunities to study subcellular objects with NMR and other techniques.  

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Philip Pincus is a Distinguished Professor of Materials, Physics, and Biomolecular Science at UC Santa Barbara. In this interview, he explains the origin of his nickname “Fyl,” he recounts his childhood in San Francisco, as well as his decision to study physics at Berkeley and his mentorship by Charlie Kittel. Pincus describes his thesis research on temperature dependence of anisotropy energy, and nuclear spin relaxation in magnetic materials. He describes his postdoctoral work at Saclay and his faculty appointment at UCLA, and he describes working with de Gennes and Alan Heeger. Pincus describes his contributions to dirty type II superconductors and the excitement surrounding early research on liquid crystals. He explains his decision to join the research lab at Exxon Mobil and he describes the basic science research culture there and his increasing focus on soft matter physics, which he continued to pursue at UC Santa Barbara in the Chemical Engineering Department. Pincus discusses his current interests in water and cohesive energy, and at the end of the interview, he reflects on the growth of soft matter physics out of his original interest in solid state physics, and he explains why condensed matter theorists might have something to offer dark matter research.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview dates
June 12, 16, 2020
Location
Remote Interview
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews William Eaton, NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Laboratory of Chemical Physics. Eaton recounts his childhood in Philadelphia and he describes his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an M.D. a Ph.D. He describes his budding interests in chemical physics during his time in medical school and his formative research at Cambridge, where he worked on protein synthesis. He conveys the serendipity surrounding his decision to join the NIH as a result of his experience with the draft during the Vietnam War. He discusses his offer to head the biophysics program at Harvard, and he explains his decision to remain at NIH. Eaton provides a history of NMR and AIDS research at the NIH, and he describes his research agenda at the NIH, including his seminal work on sickle cell disease and protein folding. At the end of the interview, Eaton reflects on the value of his medical degree over the course of his career.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Bathesda, Maryland
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interview Ad Bax, section chief in the Laboratory of Chemical Physics, at the NIH. Bax recounts his childhood in the Netherlands growing up on a farm and his undergraduate experience at the University of Delft. He describes his developing interest in nuclear magnetic resonance and the exciting theoretical opportunities that this new field presented. Bax discusses his graduate work with Ray Freeman at Oxford in NMR spectroscopy, and he explains the early role of computers on NMR research. He discusses the circumstances leading to his postdoctoral work at Colorado State University on solution and solid state NMR. Bax explains his initial work at the NIH using NMR to study protein structure. In the last portion of the interview, Bax provides an overview of the clinical and research value of NMR to the overall mission of the NIH, and he describes how the culture of collaboration makes the NIH a unique place to pursue basic research.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews Marius Clore, NIH Distinguished Investigator, Chief of Section of Protein NMR, Lab of Chemical Physics at the NIH. Clore recounts his childhood in London and his early interests in science, and he explains in detail the British education system that leads to specialization early in one’s undergraduate career. Clore discusses his experience at University College London, where he obtained a medical degree by age 24, and his residency at St. Charles Hospital. He describes his early interests in low temperature kinetic methods and NMR spectroscopy at Mill Hill. He describes his decision to pursue NMR as a career path, which he recognized was in its early stages at that point and which he felt was ripe for development. Clore explains how he taught himself General Relativity from Dirac’s book, and his decision to study at the Planck Institute. He describes the arc of his career at the NIH and his contributions to advancing NMR research and the intellectual atmosphere that allowed him to pursue interesting projects, including HIV research and the XPLOR program. Near the end of the discussion, Clore explains the difference between biophysics and classical physics, and why the NIH has been the ideal place to pursue his research.

Interviewed by
Dan Ford
Interview date
Location
La Jolla, California
Abstract

In this interview Richard Garwin discusses topics such as: low-temperature physics, cryogenics, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, hydrogen bomb, International Business Machines (IBM), superconductivity, nuclear magnetic resonance, John Tukey, fast Fourier transforms, computers, Erwin Hahn, patents and licenses, lasers.This interview is part of a collection of interviews on the life and work of Richard Garwin. To see all associated interviews, click here.

Interviewed by
Paul Henriksen
Interview date
Abstract

Work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory. Significant contributions to solid state physics. The interview deals briefly with Purcell's early acquaintance with Karl Lark-Horovitz at Purdue, while Purcell was an undergraduate electrical engineering major there. The bulk of the interview concerns Purcell's work at the MIT Rad Lab during World War II: how he started working there in 1940, his work with the magnetron group, the problems with the transmit receive switch, theory vs. experiment at the Rad Lab, the Steering Committee, work with the propagation group, the 1.25 cm radar fiasco, design of permanent magnets, postwar applications of Rad Lab research, and relations with British engineers. Purcell then discusses the influence of the Rad Lab on his subsequent career, his work with R. V. Pound, and H. C. Torrey at Harvard on NMR and the 21 cm line of hydrogen, and postwar uses of microwaves for physics research.

Interviewed by
Katherine Sopka
Interview date
Location
Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Abstract

Early life in Illinois; B.S. from Purdue University under Karl Lark-Horovitz, 1929-1933. Visit to Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe. Theoretical and experimental work and teaching at Harvard University, 1934-1941, under Emory L. Chaffee, Kenneth T. Bainbridge, John Van Vleck. World War II research on radar at MIT Radiation Laboratory, 1941-1946. Return to Harvard; teaching, nuclear magnetic resonance and 21-cm line research. Discusses government consulting work, 1950-1970, especially President's Science Advisory Committee, American Physical Society presidency; teaching at Harvard. Interests in astrophysics, developing physics curricula. Also prominently mentioned are: Kenneth Tompkins Bainbridge, Felix Bloch, Bobby Cutler, Robert Henry Dicke, Edwards, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harold Ewen, Ferry, William Francis Giauque, William Webster Hansen, Malcolm Hebb, Ted Hunt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Fritz Leonhart, Dunlap McNair, Otto Oldenburg, Jan Hendrik Oort, Wolfgang Pauli, Robert V. Pound, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Norman Foster Ramsey, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Schnabel, Julian R. Schwinger, Francis Eugene Simon, Charles Steinmetz, Henry Torrey, Hendrik Christoffell van de Hulst, John Von Neumann, Isidor Walerstein, Walter Witzel, Hubert J. Yearian, Jerrold Reinach Zacharias; Bell System Technical Journal, Great Britain Royal Air Force Coastal Command, Radio Research Laboratory, Illinois Southeastern Telephone Co., Killian Committee, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, National Academy of Sciences, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, Unitarian Church, United States Office of Naval Research, University of California at Berkeley, and Voice of America.

Interviewed by
Katherine Sopka
Interview date
Location
Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Abstract

Early life in Illinois; B.S. from Purdue University under Karl Lark-Horovitz, 1929-1933. Visit to Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe. Theoretical and experimental work and teaching at Harvard University, 1934-1941, under Emory L. Chaffee, Kenneth T. Bainbridge, John Van Vleck. World War II research on radar at MIT Radiation Laboratory, 1941-1946. Return to Harvard; teaching, nuclear magnetic resonance and 21-cm line research. Discusses government consulting work, 1950-1970, especially President's Science Advisory Committee, American Physical Society presidency; teaching at Harvard. Interests in astrophysics, developing physics curricula. Also prominently mentioned are: Kenneth Tompkins Bainbridge, Felix Bloch, Bobby Cutler, Robert Henry Dicke, Edwards, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harold Ewen, Ferry, William Francis Giauque, William Webster Hansen, Malcolm Hebb, Ted Hunt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Fritz Leonhart, Dunlap McNair, Otto Oldenburg, Jan Hendrik Oort, Wolfgang Pauli, Robert V. Pound, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Norman Foster Ramsey, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Schnabel, Julian R. Schwinger, Francis Eugene Simon, Charles Steinmetz, Henry Torrey, Hendrik Christoffell van de Hulst, John Von Neumann, Isidor Walerstein, Walter Witzel, Hubert J. Yearian, Jerrold Reinach Zacharias; Bell System Technical Journal, Great Britain Royal Air Force Coastal Command, Radio Research Laboratory, Illinois Southeastern Telephone Co., Killian Committee, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, National Academy of Sciences, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, Unitarian Church, United States Office of Naval Research, University of California at Berkeley, and Voice of America.