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Sargent, Wallace Leslie William, 1935-2012-
Oral history interview with Wallace Sargent, 1989 January 20.
Interview discusses Wallace Sargent's parental background; influence and encouragement from mother; early schooling in England: technical schools versus academic schools; influence of reading The Children's Encyclopedia at age 10; decision to go beyond trade school; influence of Fred Hoyle's radio broadcasts on astronomy in the late 1940s; Sargent's becoming antireligious; education at Manchester; early theoretical work at Manchester; ability at pattern recognition and recognition of spectra; early preference for steady state model and reasons for that preference; "dark-time" people versus "bright-time" people among astronomical observers; early interests in peculiar spectra: A stars and then Seyfert galaxies; influence of Fritz Zwicky and work on Zwicky compact galaxies; career at Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) and University of California, San Diego; work on high star formation in small galaxies and Seyfert galaxies; training of observational astronomers and recent lack of hands-on experience; specialization of abilities; Sargent's motivation in choosing problems to work on; criteria of observers in selecting problems; attitudes toward the horizon and flatness problems; change in attitude toward the flatness problem after the inflationary universe model; attitude toward the inflationary universe model; reaction to de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large-scale inhomogeneities and importance of similar work done earlier by Gregory, Thompson, and others; belief in large-scale homogeneity by reason of the cosmic background radiation; work on Lyman alpha clouds; working relationship of theory and observation in cosmology; seriousness of theories of the very early universe; outstanding problems in cosmology: dark matter; ideal design of the universe; question of whether the universe has a point.
M.Sc. in astrophysics from Manchester University (1957); Ph.D. in astrophysics from Manchester University (1959); research fellow in astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (1959-1962); worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and at the University of California, San Diego; became professor of astronmy at Caltech; worked in areas of both galactic and extragalactic astronomy.
Geller, Margaret J.
Hoyle, Fred, 1915-2001
Huchra, John P.
Sargent, Wallace Leslie William, 1935-2012-
Zwicky, F. (Fritz), 1898-1974
Royal Greenwich Observatory
University of California, San Diego
University of Manchester
Astronomy -- Observations
Cosmic background radiation
Dark matter (Astronomy)
Inflationary universe.
Large scale structure (Astronomy)
Seyfert galaxies
Spectrum analysis
Stars -- Formation.
Steady state cosmology.
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Transcripts. aat
Lightman, Alan P., 1948-, interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA