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Phillips, Melba, 1907-2004
Oral history interview with Melba Newell Phillips, 1977 December 5.
Family background, childhood and education up through college, all in Indiana; her graduate study, first at Battle Creek College (M.A.), then at the University of California under J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ph.D. 1933; also attended University of Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics, 1929. Between her Ph.D. and her first college faculty position (Connecticut College for Women, 1937-1938) she held postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, Bryn Mawr College and the Institute for Advanced Study. With the exception of a period of war-time teaching at the University of Minnesota, she taught at Brooklyn College from 1938 to 1952, when she was fired for not cooperating with the McCarran Committee. During her period of unemployment she coauthored 2 textbooks, Classical Electricity and Magnetism (with Wolfgang Panofsky) and Principles of Physical Science (with Francis Bonner). In 1957 she was brought to Washington University in St. Louis by Edward U. Condon to run the Academic Year Institute program there. From 1962 until her retirement in 1972, she was professor of physics at the University of Chicago. She has long been active in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) serving as its President in 1966 and as its Executive Officer in recent years; comments on AAPT's role and problems. She also gives her views on physics and physicists today, including the experience of women physicists in the U.S. Brief discussion of her work with J. Robert Oppenheimer and her political difficulties in the 1950s. Also prominently mentioned are: Robert d'Escourt Atkinson, David Bohm, Francis Bonner, Jay W. Buchta, Annie Jump Cannon, Suzanne Ellis, William Jordan, Robert Karplus, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin, Frank Press, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck; Academic Year Institute, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Physics Teachers Commission on College Physics, American Physical Society, City College of City University of New York, Harvard College Observatory, Harvard Project Physics, National Science Foundation, Optical Society of America, Physical Sciences Study Committee, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, University of Chicago, and University of Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics.
Atkinson, Robert d'Escourt, 1898-1982
Bohm, David, 1917-1992.
Bonner, Francis T.
Buchta, Jay W.
Cannon, Annie Jump, 1863-1941
Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974.
Ellis, Suzanne
Jordan, William
Karplus, Robert
Leavitt, Henrietta Swan, 1868-1921
Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
Panofsky, Wolfgang K. H. (Wolfgang Kurt Hermann), 1919-2007
Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia, 1900-1979-
Phillips, Melba, 1907-2004
Press, Frank, 1924-
Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980
Weiner, Charles
Academic Year Institute
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Physics Teachers.
American Physical Society.
Battle Creek College--Students.
Brooklyn College.
Bryn Mawr College.
Commission on College Physics.
City University of New York. City College
Connecticut College for Women, New London.
Harvard College Observatory
Harvard Project Physics.
Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.).
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Optical Society of America.
Physical Science Study Committee.
United States. Congress. House. McCarran Committee.
University of California, Berkeley.
University of Chicago.
University of Minnesota.
University of Minnesota. Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics.
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.)
Physics -- Societies, etc.
Physics -- Study and teaching.
Societies -- History, organization, etc.
Women physicists.
Women scientists.
Women in science
Oral histories. aat
Interviews. aat
Sound recordings lcgft
Transcripts. aat
Sopka, Katherine Russell interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA