Born in Russia 1905, childhood in Japan; early education in Japan and in Shanghai; undergraduate and graduate studies at University of Berlin from 1922; protactinium work with Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner 1926-1927. Moves to the U.S. (Universal Oil Products Corp.); comments on Vladimir Ipatief; travels to Europe (Cavendish Laboratory, the Curie Institute in Paris, and Berlin); Columbia University from 1939, dismissal from the Manhattan Project; president of the Research Institute at Temple University for 13 years (later affiliate of the Franklin Institute); desert agriculture. Also prominently mentioned are: M. S. Agruss, Francis William Aston, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Eugene Booth, James Chadwick, Arthur Holly Compton, Marie Sklodowska Curie, John R. Dunning, Gustav Egloff, Albert Einstein, Robley Dunglison Evans, Enrico Fermi, George Gamow, Hiram Halle, William D. Harkins, Georg von Hevesy, Karl Hoffman, Eugene Houdry, Lyndon B. Johnson, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie, Petr Kapitsa, Robert Andrews Millikan, Alfred O. Nier, Ida Noddack, George Braxton Pegram, Isidor Isaac Rabi, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Soddy, Fritz Strassman, Leo Szilard, Joseph John Thomson, Harold Clayton Urey, John Archibald Wheeler; Atomic Energy Commission, Basic Science Foundation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Technische Hochschule (Berlin), Universal Oil Production Corporation, and University of Chicago.
Early education; studies biophysics at Universität Frankfurt and Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut (Friedrich Dessauer, Rievsky); physics training (Erwin Madelung, Meissner); Dessauer's political troubles. Fellowship to Institut Radium (Marie Curie), 1933; building geiger counters (Frédéric Joliot-Curie); life and staff at Institut (Irene Joliot-Curie, Jean Perrin, Hans von Halban, Peter Preiswerk, Lew Kowarski, Rosenblum); Institut's role in development of nuclear physics (P.M.S. Blackett, Giuseppe Occhialini); first nuclear physics conference in Zurich (Paul Scherrer), 1933; London Conference of 1934 (Max Born, Maurice Goldhaber); F. Joliot-Curie thinking about accelerators and about building a cyclotron (Pierre Weiss); Gentner continues gamma ray work (Lise Meitner). Gentner leaves Institut after Curie's death; fellowship at Institute for Medical Research, Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut, Heidelberg (Walther Bothe), 1935-1938; also lectures at Frankfurt on radioactivity, gamma rays, x-rays, and cosmic rays; builds the first Van der Graaf machine in Germany, 1936; first to use gamma rays to look for nuclear photo effect (Fowler, Lauritsen). Travels to United States to study cyclotrons (James Fisk), 1938; spends several months at University of California, Berkeley (E. O. Lawrence, Donald Cooksey); the fission story (Niels Bohr, J. R. Oppenheimer); calibrating ionization chamber and experimental work in fission; life and pre-war politics at Berkeley and Stanford University (Felix Bloch); visits California Institute of Technology (Fowler, Lauritsen, Max Delbrück); travels to Washington, DC (George Gamow, Edward Teller, Fleming, Merle Tuve); and ends tour in New York City (John R. Dunning, Lawrence, Bohr). Returns to Europe; visits John Cockcroft at University of Cambridge. Returns with wife to Germany in April, 1938; plans for Siemens to build cyclotron in Heidelberg canceled. Sent to Paris to interview F. Joliot-Curie on whereabouts of heavy water, July 1940; private meeting afterwards; works in Paris with F. Joliot-Curie on cyclotron, 1940-1942; returns to Heidelberg to build own cyclotron, 1942-1944. Difficulties of re-establishing nuclear physics in Germany after World War II (Cockcroft, Konrad Adenauer); building up new laboratories; CERN, DESY.