United States. Army

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

This interview was conducted as part of the background research for David DeVorkin's biography of George Carruthers. Gerald Carruthers is the younger brother of George. The interview begins with Carruthers describing his early childhood years and family life, particularly the period when the family lived on a farm in Milford, Ohio. He recalls the many farm chores done by him and his siblings, especially George who was the eldest. Carruthers remembers George building his first telescope on the farm, which accidentally started a small fire. He describes his father’s work as a civil engineer and his grandmother’s work as a teacher, a legacy which he suspects influenced George’s later interest in science education. Carruthers recalls George being extremely focused and dedicated from a young age, and he describes George’s knack for art and drawing. He discusses the family’s move to Chicago after their father died and recalls the racial discrimination they faced in the neighborhood and at school. Carruthers shares memories of George spending time at Adler Planetarium, participating in science fairs, and building rockets in the yard. He recalls his mother’s job at the post office, where George also worked during summers home from college. Carruthers describes his own military service working on missile systems, work which took him to many places including Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Germany. He shares memories of George’s wife, Sandra, as well as George’s humility when it came to his many achievements.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Lynwood Randolph, physicist and former space program administrator at NASA. Randolph recounts his childhood in a segregated Richmond and remembers his love for music as well as his introduction to physics in high school. He explains his decision to attend Virginia State University, where he participated in the ROTC program and served in the military upon graduation. After his service, Randolph decided to pursue graduate school and received a National Defense Education Act fellowship to attend Howard University. He explains his focus on experimental work during his graduate studies, pertaining to radiation effects and optical properties of materials. Randolph began a summer job at Harry Diamond Laboratories in DC, where he went on to work for 10 years. Randolph discusses the limitations in the types of jobs available to African Americans at the time, and explains the opportunity at NASA that led him to spend 23 years there. He served in many roles such as Manager for Advanced Concepts in the office of Aeronautics and Space Technology, Chief of the Management Programs Branch, and, later, Information Technology Standards Manager. Randolph reflects on the diversity within NASA over the years and how technology innovations impacted the workplace landscape. He discusses his work with HBCUs and his creation of LES Associates, a consulting company that works in a variety of educational and technological areas. Randolph concludes the interview with reflections on the importance of mentorship and diversity within the field.

Interviewed by
Richard J. Peppin
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, Chuck Ebbing discusses his career and involvement with the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Ebbing discusses his time at Purdue University as an undergraduate student where he studied electrical engineering. He details his time working at Carrier and his work designing anechoic rooms. He speaks about his time in the U.S. Army and his experience attending guided missile school. Ebbing discusses getting his master’s degree at the Cornell Aeronautical Lab where he built and designed a magnetostrictive transducer. He describes his time as a member of ASA where he worked on a standard regarding air conditioning measurements. Lastly, Ebbing discusses his displeasure with ASA’s lack of encouragement for creativity. 

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

This is an interview with Roger Stuewer, Professor Emeritus, History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Stuewer recounts his childhood in rural Wisconsin, and he discusses his undergraduate work in physics education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the formative course in optics taught by Ed Miller. He describes his service in the U.S. Army and his deployment to Germany in the mid-1950s, and the opportunities provided by the GI Bill to further his education. He discusses his brief career teaching high school math and physics before he was offered an instructor job in physics at Heidelberg College. Stuewer describes the circumstances leading to his return to Wisconsin to pursue a graduate degree in the history of science, where he was advised by Erwin Hiebert and where he was deeply influenced by Heinz Barschall. He describes his fascination with Arthur Holly Compton and the Compton Effect which was the subject of his dissertation, and he explains his decision to join the faculty at Minnesota. Stuewer recounts his efforts to build the history of science and technology program there, and the opportunities he was afforded with a joint appointment in the physics department. He describes some of the major methodological and historiographical debates in the field over the course of his career, including competing ideas of whether the history of physics should be pursued at the conceptual level or have as its focus social phenomena. Stuewer discusses the major impact of Thomas Kuhn and he explains his decision to take a faculty position at Boston University before returning to Minnesota for the rest of his career, where he subsequently focused on the history of nuclear physics. He describes his motivations for creating a symposium on this topic, where Han Bethe delivered introductory remarks, and he explains his longstanding interest in John Hasbrouck Van Vleck. Stuewer describes his advisory work for AIP’s history program, and how his work as an editor for the American Journal of Physics provided him a unique vantage point of the field. At the end of the interview, Stuewer reflects on what his scholarship has taught him about how humankind makes sense of the physical world.  

Interviewed by
Carballeira, Andrew
Interview date
Location
Hopkinton, MA
Abstract

In this interview, Andrew Carballeira interviews architectural acoustician William Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh discusses his family and childhood, his education at MIT, and experiences in the US Army. He describes his subsequent work as a consultant for Bolt, Beranek, and Newman designing acoustics facilities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy. Cavanaugh then describes his work as an independent consultant after leaving BBN, and his role in the formation of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants. Finally, Cavanaugh discusses his writing on acoustics and architecture, particularly Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice, which he co-edited with Gregory Tocci and Joseph Wilkes.

Interviewed by
Richard Peppin
Interview date
Location
The Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky
Abstract

In this interview, on behalf of the Acoustical Society of America, Rich Peppin interviews Carl Rosenberg, Principal Consultant and Co-Founder of Acentech. Rosenberg discusses his upbringing in Poughkeepsie, New York, his educational experiences at Princeton and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his service in the U.S. Army. Rosenberg describes his involvement with early card-punch computing, his entrance into the world of architectural acoustics and the career developments leading to him becoming President of Acentech. The interview concludes with Rosenberg sharing details of his family life.

Interviewed by
Samantha M. Thompson
Interview date
Location
Neugebauer's home, Tucson, Arizona
Abstract

Marcia Neugebauer discusses her childhood in New York City; mother's education at Vassar; her education at Cornell University in physics and philosophy; applying for jobs and graduate school; Master's at the University of Illinois, working with David Lazarus measuring diffusion in metals; marriage to Gerry Neugebuer; interviewing with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); hired alongside Conway Snyder to study possible use of nuclear reactors for rocket propulsion; competition between the Army and Air Force; learning to work with instrumentation; Space Science Section of JPL; Ray Newburn; solar wind; Russian probes to study solar wind; Mariner 2 mission and subsequent media; Solar Wind Conference; Christopher Russell; Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ASLEP); International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE); Ulysses; leadership role with the American Geophysical Union (AGU); women in sciences and at JPL.

Interviewed by
E. Carr Everbach
Interview date
Location
Phone interview
Abstract

In this interview, Floyd Dunn discusses topics such as: the Acoustical Society of America (ASA); biomedical ultrasound; graduate school and working at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; working at the University of Arizona Department of Radiology; advised by Bill Fry; physical acoustics; Henning von Gierke; American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM); his family background; serving in the Army in World War II; acoustic radiation; Bill O'Brien; Leon Frizzell; becoming a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Interviewed by
Bruce Wheaton
Interview date
Location
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Abstract

Family background, early education, and science-technology interests in California and Oregon; Willamette College and radio electronics; contacts with E.O. Lawrence; career as graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, 1942-1949; war work at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory and Los Alamos; security; attitudes toward Trinity test and Hiroshima; postwar political involvement; big machines and general comments on postwar physics.

Interviewed by
Katherine Sopka
Interview date
Location
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Abstract

Family background, education, and emergence of scientific orientation. Undergraduate years at Wellesley College (1912-1916); description of physics department. Assistant examiner in U.S. Patent Office during World War I. At MIT under E.B. Wilson as graduate student and laboratory assistant, then lab instructor (1920-24). Returned to MIT for doctoral work in 1928. Mathematical physics thesis under Norbert Wiener, while teaching at Wellesley. Depression years brought teaching position at Wilson College (1930-43), used Wellesley as model. Work on Zeeman Pattern earns her Guggenheim Fellowship (1949-50) at MIT and European labs. World War II years as head of OSRD British Report Section. Returned to Wilson (1945-56), worked part-time at National Science Foundation (1953-56). Retirement years including affiliation with U.S. Army and spectroscopic work at Harvard College Observatory. Comments on women in physics in U.S., her own opportunities, and teaching in general.