Universität Heidelberg [University of Heidelberg]

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews Vera Lüth, Professor Emerita at SLAC. Lüth recounts her childhood in Lithuania and her German family background, and her precarious experiences during and after World War II. She describes her undergraduate studies at Mainz University in the Federal Republic of Germany, and what it was like as one of the few women enrolled in science classes. Lüth explains her decision to transfer to the University of Heidelberg and her formal introduction to experimental particle physics at the Institute for High Energy Physics and then at CERN. She describes her research using bubble chambers to analyze pion-proton interactions, and the formative influence of Jack Steinberger during her time at CERN, and she offers a precis on his accomplishments up to the time of their collaboration. Lüth describes her research on signal decays involving charged particles which was located at CERN while she was a graduate student from Heidelberg, and she situates her research within the broader advances occurring in experimental particle physics at the time. She explains the opportunities leading to her postgraduate research at SLAC, she conveys the excitement of joining the Lab right at the time of the “November Revolution” of 1974, and she describes watching Panofsky walking around saying “Oh my God, Oh my God...” Lüth describes the independent and concurrent discovery made by Sam Ting at Brookhaven, and she explains the importance of theorists’ calculations, including those by Dave Jackson in understanding the resonances. She explains the process leading to the formal observation of “open charm” mesons, her early collaborations with Martin Perl, and the significance of the Mark II data derived at SPEAR. Lüth explains her decision to join the California Seismic Safety Commission project and some of the disconnects with the Department of Energy that were suggestive of the eventual fact that the endeavor was not viable. She discusses the origins of the BaBar project and its search for CP violation in B meson decays and she explains why laws of conservation have long fascinated her. Lüth explains her decision to retire at a relatively young age, and she reviews her numerous contributions in an advisory capacity over the past decade. At the end of the interview, Lüth reflects on her major contributions to the field, the larger-than-life stature of Panofsky, the foundational research of particle physics as an entrée to cosmology, and she describes some of the major and exciting future endeavors at SLAC.

Interviewed by
Joan Bromberg
Interview date
Location
Stanford University
Abstract

Laser research at the Universität Heidelberg, 1965-1970. Thesis research. Collaboration on a commercial laser. Hänsch's laboratory style. Frustrations of doing spectroscopy with the early, non-tunable lasers. Laser research at Stanford University. Comparison of resources at Heidelberg and Stanford. The high-resolution, tunable laser of 1971 and the research program it engendered. Also prominently mentioned are: Mark Levenson, Arthur Leonard Schawlow, Isa Shahin, Peter Smith, Peter Toschek; and American Physical Society.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn and Maria Goeppert Mayer
Interview date
Location
Franck's summer home, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract

This joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck was conducted as part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics project, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Mrs. Bauer, Richard Becker, Raymond Thayer Birge, Max Bodenstein, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Max Born, Ode Clausius, Edward Condon, Dirk Coster, Richard Courant, Clinton Joseph Davisson, Peter Josef William Debye, Paul Drude, Dymond, Tatiana Ehrenfest, Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein, Walter M. Elsasser, Paul Sophus Epstein, Enrico Fermi, Emil Fischer, Franck James, Walther Gerlach, Ladislas Goldstein, Fritz Haber, George Ellery Hale, Wilhelm Hanle, Werner Heisenberg, Herneck, Gustav Ludwig Hertz, David Hilbert, Johan Holtsmark, Hueckel, Christopher Ingold, Ernst Pascual Jordan, Martin Kamen, Felix Klein, Kunsman, Ferdinand Kurlbaum, Irving Langmuir, Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Philipp Lenard, Gilbert Newton Lewis, Frederick Lindemann, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Mayer, Lise Meitner, Robert Andrews Millikan, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, Walther Nernst, Mrs. Nordheim, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Friedrich Paschen, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Robert Wichard Pohl, Georg Quincke, Fritz Reiche, Heinrich Rubens, Carl Runge, H. Seeliger, Emilio Gino Segrè, Arnold Sommerfeld, Johannes Stark, Otto Stern, John T. Tate, Edward Teller, Woldemar Voigt, Otto Warburg, Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Wilhelm Westphal, Wilhelm Wien, Windaus, Robert Williams Wood; Berlin Colloquium in Physics, Berliner Physikalische Gesellschaft, Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt (Berlin), University of California at Berkeley, Universität Berlin, Universität Giessen, Universität Göttingen, and Universität Heidelberg.

Interviewed by
Thomas S. Kuhn
Interview date
Location
Rockefeller Institute, New York City
Abstract

Part of the Archives for the History of Quantum Physics oral history collection, which includes tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted with circa 100 atomic and quantum physicists. Subjects discuss their family backgrounds, how they became interested in physics, their educations, people who influenced them, their careers including social influences on the conditions of research, and the state of atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics during the period in which they worked. Discussions of scientific matters relate to work that was done between approximately 1900 and 1930, with an emphasis on the discovery and interpretations of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. Also prominently mentioned are: Albert Einstein, Philipp Lenard; Deutsche Naturforscher-Gesellschaft meeting (Bad Nauheim, 1920), and Universität Heidelberg.