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Interview with Carl Anderson

Anderson, Carl (1981) Interview with Carl Anderson. [Oral History]

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This wide-ranging 1979 interview in eight sessions with Carl D. Anderson, Board of Trustees Professor of Physics, emeritus and Nobel laureate, begins with his recollections of his undergraduate years at Caltech (1923-1927), and the influence of Arthur Amos Noyes and Ira Sprague Bowen. He recalls courses with Earnest Watson, Morgan Ward, Richard Chace Tolman, J. R. Oppenheimer. He offers his early and ongoing impressions of Robert A. Millikan as chairman of physics division and head of Caltech, and of Millikan's work on cosmic rays. He recalls his own postdoctoral work at Caltech on cosmic rays, and his discovery of the positron in 1932 and the mu-meson, or muon, in 1936, and on contemporary developments in nuclear physics. He comments on his Nobel Prize (1936). He discusses his contacts with Enrico Fermi's group at Chicago in the early 1940s and Caltech's rocket projects during World War II at China Lake and Goldstone, including the contributions of Charles Lauritsen, I. S. Bowen, and Seth Neddermeyer. He offers recollections of postwar Caltech, the increase in research funds and undergraduate enrollment, the rise of particle physics and the advent of the large accelerator era. He discusses his stint as chairman of the Division of the Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy (1962-1970) and concludes by commenting on the current state of physics research.

Item Type:Oral History
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Anderson_C
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Anderson, Carl. Interview by Harriett Lyle. Pasadena, California, January 9-February 8, 1979. 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
All Records
ID Code:89
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:15 Oct 2004
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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