In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews William T. Silfvast, Professor Emeritus of Optics at the University of Central Florida. Silfvast recounts his childhood in Salt Lake City and he discusses his education at the University of Utah and a formative internship he spent at NASA Ames Laboratory. He describes his growing interests in lasers during graduate school at Utah working under the direction of Grant Fowles. Silfvast discusses his postdoctoral research as a NATO fellow at Oxford before he joined the Electronics Research Lab at Bell. He describes his major research work at Bell discovering new types of lasers, using optical detectors and photomultipliers for this research, and he explains his motivations in both basic research and the practical applications he saw for lasers in healthcare and in industry. Silfvast explains his decision to join the University of Central Florida where CREOL, the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers was getting started. He recounts the enormous growth and success of the Center over the past thirty years, and he explains his motivations for writing Fundamentals of Lasers which is considered a standard text in the field. At the end of the interview, Silfvast reflects on his contributions to laser science, he provides an overview of all the ways lasers have become central to modern existence, and he explains how modern computing has revolutionized laser science and applications.
Center for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (ZMAW), Hamburg, Germany
In this interview, Klaus Hasselmann discusses topics such as: his family background and how he became interested in physics; getting his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Gottingen University; Walter Tollmien; University of California, San Diego Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics; Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Walter Munk; Norman Barber; John Miles; Hugh Bradner; George Backus; Klaus Wyrtki; Carl Eckart; Charles David Keeling; researching storms in the south pacific including Hawaii; Frank Snodgrass; Gordon Groves; measuring waves in the North Sea; becoming director of the newly formed Department of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Hamburg; Donald Menzel; the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Wolfgang Sell; Art Maxwell; Dirk Olbers; Heinz-Hermann Essen; Peter Muller; wave dynamics; Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP); Reimar Lust; Kirk Bryan; World Climate Research Programme; European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF); Lennart Bengtsson; El Nino predictions; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); carbon dioxide emissions; Hans Hinzpeter; plasma physics; quantum field theory.