Radar

Interviewed by
Charles Weiner
Interview date
Location
Varian Physics Building, Stanford University, California
Abstract

Recollections of physics community in 1920s and early 1930s; opportunities for physics work in Europe; awareness of political climate in Germany (1932); relationship with Werner Heisenberg at University of Leipzig; awarded Rockefeller Fellowship to study at University of Rome; contacts with physicists after Leipzig and before Rome; John Von Neumann's list of refugee physicists; offered appointment to position at Stanford University; visit to University of Copenhagen and Niels Bohr's advice to accept appointment; relinquishing of second half of fellowship; influenced by Bohr, Heisenberg and others; Bloch's influence on Enrico Fermi leading to theory of neutrino; met by Gregory Breit on arrival in New York; initial teaching duties at Stanford; theoretical physics in America in 1934; distinctions between Europe and America on theory vs. experiment; seminars with J. Robert Oppenheimer; first interest in experimental work; early research on neutrons; recollections of 1935 Michigan Summer School; started Stanford Summer School in 1936 with George Gamow as first visitor (Fermi 1937, Isidor Isaac Rabi 1938, Victor F. Weisskopf 1939); origin of idea of neutron polarization; 1936 paper proposing neutron magnetic moment experiment; 1937 Galvani Conference in Bologna; use of Berkeley 37-inch cyclotron for magnetic moment experiment; decision to build cyclotron at Stanford; construction supported by Rockefeller Foundation; initial involvement with Manhattan Project; recollections of receiving news of fission; neutron work for Manhattan Project at Stanford; marriage in 1940; work on implosion at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory; reasons for leaving Los Alamos; work on radar at Harvard University; first ideas on measuring nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); helpfulness of radar experience in NMR work; William W. Hansen and the klystron; fate of the first Stanford cyclotron; knowledge of Edward M. Purcell's work on NMR; publication of initial results, 1946-1948; Rabi and Polykarp Kusch's work on molecular beams; development of NMR field; Nobel Prize award; association with CERN, 1954; contributions of greatest impact.

Interviewed by
Gary Cameron
Interview date
Location
Gaseous Electronics Conference
Abstract

In this interview Manfred Biondi discusses topics such as: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); William Allis; S. C. Brown; Ben Bederson; Ted Holstein; Westinghouse Electric Corporation; people from Bell Laboratories; Dan Alpert; Henry Morganeau; Leon Fisher; Rob Varney; Geiger counters; serving in the United States Navy; radar; ionized gas; Ron Geballe; University of Pittsburgh; Julius Molnar; Leonard Loeb.

Interviewed by
Katherine Sopka
Interview date
Location
Harvard University
Abstract

This interview describes Bainbridge’s return to Harvard after his time in Los Alamos. His first task was the construction of a new cyclotron. He also helped to get the Physics Department back into prominence, attracting and retaining (or not) colleagues who had been doing war work. Examples of the former are Purcell and Ramsey and of the latter, R. R. Wilson. Bainbridge describes his time as department chairman, setting up the Loeb Lectureship which persists to this day. A notable event of the 1950s is the ordeal of Wendell Furry, a colleague who was called up before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Harvard and Furry’s colleagues stood by him but his life was unalterably changed.

Interviewed by
Katherine Sopka
Interview date
Location
Sopka's office, Lyman Laboratory of Physics
Abstract

Includes information on his pre-Harvard education and postdoctoral experience; pre-World War II work at Harvard with students and in building of the cyclotron; wartime work on radar in U.S. and Britain; move to the Manhattan Project and responsibility for Trinity Test site; return to Harvard and start of new cyclotron building.

Interviewed by
Robert Smith
Interview date
Location
Flagstaff, Arizona
Abstract

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