Interview with Sunil Sinha, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. Sinha describes how he has been able to keep up his research during the COVID pandemic, and he recounts his childhood in Calcutta where he attended Catholic schools and developed his interests in math and science. He describes his undergraduate education at Cambridge where he became interested is quantum mechanics, and he explains his decision to remain there for graduate work to conduct research on neutron scattering under the direction of Gordon Squires. Sinha explains the centrality of neutron scattering to the development of condensed matter physics, and he describes the opportunities leading to his postdoctoral research at Iowa State. He discusses his work at Ames Lab and Argonne Lab, where he continued to pursue fundamental research on neutron scattering and rare earth materials. Sinha describes his research at Exxon Lab, and the start of the revolution in soft matter physics, and he explains his decision to return to Argonne at the beginning of the Advanced Photon Source project. He discusses his subsequent move to San Diego where he enjoyed a joint appointment with Los Alamos Lab and when he was able to concentrate more fully on teaching after a career spent mostly in laboratory environments. At the end of the interview, Sinha describes his current interest in spin glasses, exchange biases, and jamming theoretical computer simulations, and he explains the reason for the enduring mystery of the mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity.
Interview with Katherine Harkay, Senior Scientist at the Advanced Proton Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. Harkay describes the APS upgrade and how the APS informs her broader views about the interplay of theory and experiment in accelerator physics. She recounts her childhood in New York City, the import of her Hungarian heritage, and her early interests in science. Harkay describes her undergraduate work at St. John’s and her attractions to experimental physics before entering the PhD program at Purdue. She describes her work at Fermilab and the opportunities that led to her work with Yanglai Cho at Argonne and the origins of the APS. Harkay explains the broad range of experiments done at the APS and she describes the investigation of high-intensity limits and the safety considerations that ensure its proper operation. She discusses her work on cathode research and development and she explains the administrative responsibilities she took on after being named accelerator physics group leader. Harkay surveys Argonne’s efforts to bring more women into leadership positions and the broader value of a diversity of perspectives in science. At the end of the interview, Harkay emphasizes the importance of public outreach, and she cites the value of the APS’s value in X-ray imaging of the SARS-CoV-2 protein to exemplify the point.
Dr. Fradin, in semi-retirement at the time of the interview, came to Argonne National Laboratory in 1967. In the course of his career he did materials science research and had various management jobs, including serving as an Associate Laboratory director. In this interview he talks about the evolution of the materials science program at Argonne as well as the advent of the Advanced Photo Source (APS). Near the end of the interview he discusses the status and future of large materials science facilities, including APS.
Interview focuses on the time she spent working with the top manager who made the Advanced Photon Source (APS) possible, in particular Alan Schriesheim and David Moncton. She had a front row seat for many important decisions, she has keen insights into the problems and personalities of the times, and she makes important points about the "culture clashes" between the various groups at the laboratory during the design and construction of the APS.