Oral history interview with Per Olov Löwdin, 1975 January 27.


Löwdin, Per-Olov, 1916-2000. Oral history interview with Per Olov Löwdin, 1975 January 27.

Oral history interview with Per Olov Löwdin, 1975 January 27.

Deals mainly with the establishment of the Winter conferences in quantum chemistry on Sanibel Island. Löwdin's work in quantum chemistry at University of Uppsala, Sweden and earlier visits to the U.S. (invitations by Hertha Spooner, Robert Mullikan, and John Slater) leads to an exchange program between University of Florida and Löwdin's Uppsala group. Löwdin moves to Gainesville, Fla. in 1959, on a part-time basis; the first winter conference at Casa Ybel on Sanibel Island. Comments on the Swedish summer institutes, especially Valadalen in 1958; Harrison Shull's role and the establishment of five-week-long winter institutes at Gainesville, supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Scientific Research of the U.S. Air Force. Basic themes: quantum chemistry and solid state theory, with later additions of quantum biology (Alberte and Bernard Pullman), quantum statistics and collision phenomena. Slater's view of the Sanibel conferences. Financial aspects of the conferences and institutes after NSF support ceases. Comments on the conference arrangements: selection of chairmen, panel members, participants and the honorary presidents: Egil Hylleraas, Robert Mullikan, John Slater, John Van Vleck, Henry Eyring, Edward Condon and L. H. Thomas, 1963-1975; publication of conference proceedings. The Nobel Prize: selection procedures of candidates. Also prominently mentioned are: Keith Brueckner, Enrico Fermi, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Erik Proskrauer; American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, Florida State University, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, Sanibel Symposia, and U.S. Department of Defense.

Sound recording: 1 sound cassette (ca. 1.5 hrs.), 1 session.Transcript: 19 p.

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