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Sawyer, Ralph A. (Ralph Alanson), 1895-1978
Oral history interview with Ralph Alanson Sawyer, 1967 March 16 and 1970 September 24.
Childhood interests and family background; studies; undergraduate at Dartmouth College, 1911-1915; graduate research on vacuum spark spectra under Robert Millikan at University of Chicago, 1915-1917 and 1918-1919; faculty positions at University of Michigan, 1919; role of Harrison Randall at Michigan in continuation of vacuum spark work; WWI optical work for Bureau of Ordnance, 1917-1918; research interests in atomic spectra and structural analysis as result of work with Friedrich Paschen at Universitt̃ Berlin, 1926, 1931; impressions of Paschen's laboratory and intellectual ferment at the Universitt̃ Berlin; spectroscopic analysis applied to industrial problems at University of Michigan, 1930s-1940s; role as World War II naval research administrator, 1941, 1942-1945, sets tone for remaining career as administrator; Dean of Graduate Studies at Michigan, 1946-1950. Sawyer's role in Optical Society of America; comments on Arthur Hardy and OSA internal crises; changing conceptions of the Optical Society reflecting changing nature of the field in the 1930s; relation to the American Institute of Physics (AIP) as Chairman of the Board and Acting Director; disputes over Institute functions, role of Elmer Hutchisson; comments on role of director, overviews on AIP orientation.
Ralph Alanson Sawyer (1895-1978). Physicist (spectroscopy, ordnance). On the faculty of University of Michigan (1919-1965); dean Horace B. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (1946-1965); director, Phoenix Project (1951-1959).
Hardy, Arthur C.
Hutchisson, Elmer, 1902-
Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953.
Paschen, Friedrich
Randall, Harrison M. (Harrison McAllister), 1870-
Sawyer, Ralph A. (Ralph Alanson), 1895-1978
American Institute of Physics.
Dartmouth College.
Humboldt-Universitt̃ zu Berlin
Optical Society of America.
United States. Army. Bureau of Ordnance.
University of Chicago.
University of Michigan.
Atomic spectra.
Naval research.
Physical laboratories -- Germany.
Physics -- Industrial applications.
Physics -- Societies, etc.
Spectrum analysis.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Science.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Science.
Oral histories. aat
Interviews. aat
Sound recordings lcgft
Transcripts. aat
Weiner, Charles interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA