Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1966 November 30.


Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995. Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1966 November 30.

Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1966 November 30.

Arrival in U.S., 1930; comparison of social, scientific, general intellectual climates in U.S. and Europe; early interest in nuclear physics; relationship with graduate students; beta decay, compound-nucleus model, Breit-Wigner formula, early shell model; the Reviews of Modern Physics articles by Hans Bethe; relation of early meson theory to nuclear physics; nuclear forces; charge independence; journal literature of physics, ca. 1937; effectiveness of group-theoretic methods in nuclear physics; effectiveness of quantum mechanics for nuclear physics; significant early experimental discoveries in nuclear physics: neutron, deuteron, artificial radioactivity; fission; shell model of Mayer and Jensen; rotational levels in nuclei; the specialization of physics; effect of World War II on nuclear physics research; Shelter Island conference (J. Robert Oppenheimer); work at University of Chicago; conferences after the war; branching off of high-energy physics from nuclear physics; work personally regarded as interesting. Also prominently mentioned are: John Bardeen, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Gregory Breit, Edward Uhler Condon, Paul Ehrenfest, William D. Harkins, Werner Heisenberg, Conyers Herring, Ernst Pasqual Jordan, Erwin Schrödinger, Frederick Seitz, Leo Szilard, Igal Talmi, Thieberger, Hideki Yukawa; Los Alamos National Laboratory, Princeton University, Universität Berlin, and University of Wisconsin. Interview conducted by Charles Weiner and Jagdish Mehra, 30 November, 1966.

Transcript, 44 p.

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