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Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974.
Oral history interview with Edward Uhler Condon, 1967 October 17, 18, 1968 April 27, 1973 September 11 and 12.
In this interview, Edward Uhler Condon discusses topics such as: his family background; early education; influence of high school physics teacher, William Howell Williams, 1914-1918, and later teacher at University of California, Berkeley; interval as boy reporter. Undergraduate years at Berkeley, beginning in 1921 in chemistry department; Ph.D. in physics, 1926; association with Fred Weinberg. Discovery of Erwin Schrödinger's wave mechanics papers; International Education Board fellowship to study quantum mechanics at Göttingen, 1926. Work on Bell Systems technical journal for six months before accepting lectureship at Columbia University; teaching post at Princeton University; Condon and Philip Morse's Quantum Mechanics, result of Columbia and Princeton courses. Relations with University of California; role in persuading Ernest Lawrence to go to Berkeley from Yale University. Recollections of Michigan summer school. Work at Westinghouse on applications of nuclear physics to industry, including completion of Van de Graaff machine, 1937-1940; setting up Westinghouse research fellowships, 1938; Massachusetts Institute of Technology conference on applications of nuclear physics, October 1940; war work on microwave radar. J. Robert Oppenheimer asks Condon to come to Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory; tour of Los Alamos with Leslie Groves; reasons for leaving Los Alamos after a few weeks. Work as head of theoretical section of Lawrence's laboratory, August 1943-1945; British scientists. Evaluation of Westinghouse's four million-volt machine. Description of Nimitron, a physical computer, designed for 1939 World's Fair. Discussion of 1928 radioactivity. Reminiscences of Ronald Gurney's later career and his trouble with security. Discussion of postwar events, such as the Quebec Conference, McMahon Act, Moran's book about Winston Churchill. Peacetime development of atomic energy; establishment of the Senate's Special Committee on atomic energy. Directorship of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), 1945-1951. Work on superconductivity; W. Emmanuel Maxwell and John Pelham. Accomplishments at NBS. Hearings in 1948 and 1952 before the Department of Commerce under Truman's loyalty program; Averell Harriman. Director of Research at Corning, 1951. House Un-American Activities Committee hearing, 1954; J. R. Oppenheimer and Bernard Peters; reopening of clearances, loss of Corning position; becomes Corning consultant. Head of Washington University physics department, 1956-1963; Oberlin College, 1962; interest in modernizing teaching; Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), from 1963; editor of Reviews of Modern Physics, 1957-1968; establishment of the National Accelerator Laboratory (Chicago); the UFO story. Comments on his most satisfying and his least satisfying work. Also prominently mentioned are: Raymond T. Birge and Henry Wallace.
American nuclear physicist. Ph.D. physics, University of California (1926). Professional experience includes: assistant profesor, associate professor, Princeton University (1928-1929, 1930-1937); associate director, Westinghouse Research Laboratory (1937-1945); director, National Bureau of Standards (1945-1951); director of research and development, consulting physicist, Corning Glass Works (1951-1954); professor, Washington University (1956-1963); professor, fellow of the Joint Institute of Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), director of UFO Project, professor emeritus, University of Colorado (1963-1974). Research interests: quantum mechanics, development of radar use and nuclear weapons during World War II.
Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), b. 1887.
Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965
Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974.
Groves, Leslie R., 1896-1970.
Gurney, Ronald W. (Ronald Wilfrid)
Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986.
Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958.
Morse, Philip McCord, 1903-
Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961
American Physical Society.
Bell Telephone Laboratories
Columbia University
Corning Glass Works.
International Education Board.
Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics.
Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.
Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
National Accelerator Laboratory.
Oberlin College.
Princeton University.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities.
United States. National Bureau of Standards
Universität Göttingen.
University of California, Berkeley.
University of Michigan. Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics.
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.)
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.
The Bell system technical journal.
Reviews of modern physics.
Computers.
Nuclear energy.
Nuclear physics.
Nuclear structure.
Particle accelerators.
Physical laboratories -- Administration.
Physics -- Industrial applications.
Physics -- Study and teaching.
Quantum theory.
Radar.
Radio astronomy.
Science -- Scholarships, fellowships, etc.
Solid state physics -- History
Superconductivity.
Unidentified flying objects.
Wave mechanics.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Science.
Oral histories. aat
Interviews. aat
Sound recordings. aat
Transcripts. aat
McCarthyism.
Maxwell, E.
McMahon, Brien, 1903-1952.
Pelham, John.
Peters, B. (Bernard), 1910-
Wallace, Henry.
Weinberg, Fred.
Williams, William Howell.
Weiner, Charles. Interviewer.
AIP-ICOS
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA
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