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Interview with Petr Vogel

Vogel, Petr (2004) Interview with Petr Vogel. [Oral History]

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An interview in two sessions, December 2002 and January 2003, with Petr Vogel, Senior Research Associate in Physics, Emeritus in the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy. Born and raised in Prague, Vogel recalls his family's experiences in the concentration camp in Theresienstadt, his post-World War II experiences growing up under Communism; college preparation in the LaGuardia Gymnasium; transfer from Charles University to the Prague Institute of Technology; post-graduate work at the Nuclear Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences near Prague in the early sixties; contacts with scientists from Russia (Vadim Soloviev) and from the West at a summer school in 1962 in Slovakia and transfer to the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna (USSR), where Vogel finished his graduate studies (1966) and returned to his job at the Prague Institute. He recalls the Prague Spring of 1968 and its collapse; postdoctoral work at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and his interactions there with Kai Neergaard (1968-70), working on pure nuclear structure problems; and his arrival at Caltech in 1970 to work with Felix Boehm. Vogel also began collaborating with Aage Winther on the problems of mu-mesic atoms; and also with Steven Koonin and Brian Davis having to do with work done in Boehm's group on some effects that looked like time reversal. He comments on the interest in neutrino physics at the end of the seventies by Fred Reines's (at Irvine) and Boehm's group; theoretical calculations on the neutrino spectrum at nuclear reactors that led to important experimental work in the eighties; Reine's claim that he had discovered neutrino oscillations (and Richard Feynman's efforts to disprove it); and his work with Feynman on the supposed existence of a fifth force, also a wrong claim.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Nuclear physics
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Vogel_P
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Vogel, Petr. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, December 16, 2002 and January 16, 2003. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Physics
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ID Code:153
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:21 Jul 2008
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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