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Layzer, David.
Oral history interview with David Layzer, 2007 December 5.
Interview is a biographical profile of theoretical astrophysicist David Layzer, with emphasis on his career at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Topics discussed include his family life, interest in music, childhood interests, reading preferences. Affinity for mathematics. Contact with Jason Nassau at the Warner and Swasey Observatory. Devoured literatures, recollections of English teacher. Decision to enroll at Harvard and contact with Bart Bok. Mathematics courses and contacts with Garrett Birkhoff. Contrasting mathematics and astronomy at Harvard. The Harvard undergraduate experience, interrupted by being drafted into Army service during World War II. Signal Corps duty in radio intelligence control. Return to Harvard and astrophysics readings. Contact with Herbert Jehle. Harvard graduate school, thesis with Donald Menzel, Ph.D. in 1950. Interest in philosophy of physics. Impressions of Harvard College Observatory (HCO) under Shapley and the Berkeley Astronomy Department under Otto Struve. Growth of interests in cosmology at Berkeley and move to Princeton on another temporary appointment. Work for John Wheeler. Impressions of Princeton, lack of security clearance, contact with Martin Schwarzschild and Edward Teller. Return to Harvard in 1953 under Menzel and general recollections of the divisive atmosphere of the place and the coming of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under Whipple. View of the importance of teaching. Writing and publishing. The growth of SAO and his concerns. Leo Goldberg's concerns about SAO and HCO relations. Layzer's involvement - commentary on letters he wrote during the crisis expressing concern over Harvard's lowered rating among astronomical institutions and what to do about it.
American theoretical astrophysicist who spent a majority of his career at the University of Harvard and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Birkhoff, Garrett, 1911-1996
Bok, Bart J. (Bart Jan), 1906-1983
Goldberg, Leo
Jehle, Herbert, 1907-
Layzer, David.
Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976
Nassau, Jason John, 1893-1965
Schwarzschild, Martin
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972.
Struve, Otto, 1897-1963.
Teller, Edward, 1908-2003
Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008.
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004
Harvard College Observatory.
Harvard University.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Princeton University
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
United States. Army.
United States. Army. Signal Corps.
University of California, Berkeley. Department of Astronomy
Philosophy and science.
World War, 1939-1945.
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Transcripts. aat
DeVorkin, David H., 1944-, interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA