Oral history interview with William Aaron Nierenberg, 1986 February 6 to 30 June.


Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000. Oral history interview with William Aaron Nierenberg, 1986 February 6 to 30 June.

Oral history interview with William Aaron Nierenberg, 1986 February 6 to 30 June.

Childhood in New York City; high quality of public schools during Depression; decision at 13 to become physicist; inspirational high school teachers; aptitude for mathematics; undergraduate at City College of New York and junior year in Paris; graduate of Columbia University; involvement in Manhattan Project with John Dunning from 1942; University of Michigan and University of California, Berkeley after war; wife and children. Postwar transitions: scientists' reaction to the May-Johnson bill; the new physics; Ph. D., 1947. Michigan University's place in American physics (summer schools, Horace R. Crane). Joins University of California, Berkeley in 1950. Joins Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, 1950-1965; involvement in creating the Hudson Laboratories at Dobbs Ferry (Columbia University) in early 1950s; Director, 1953-1954. Assistant Secretary General of NATO (as Chief of NATO Science Committee), 1960-1962; joins JASON in 1962. Director of Scripps Institute of Oceanography from 1965. Assessment of own research. Consultancies and committee-work during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, often with U.S. Navy involvement. Scripps is touched upon, especially his difficulties upon assuming the directorship in 1965. More comments on the new physics (after World War II) and the Depression in physics in the late 1960s. Also prominently mentioned are: Carl David Anderson, Hymen Goldsmith, Harvey Hall, Morton Hamermesh, Ivan Hurlinger, Willis. E. Lamb, Robert Andrews Millikan, Frederick B. Robinson, Harold Clayton Urey, Harold Worthington Webb, Lawrence Wills, Mitchell Wilson, and Robert Wolfe.

Transcript, 98 p.

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