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Interview with J. Beverley Oke

Oke, J. Beverley (1991) Interview with J. Beverley Oke. [Oral History]

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An interview in two sessions, September 1991, with J. Beverley Oke, professor of astronomy, emeritus, in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy (PMA). BS and MS from University of Toronto. Graduate work at Princeton with Martin Schwarzschild on modeling giant stars. He describes continual development of improved detectors as staving off interest in building bigger telescopes until the late 1970s. Discusses his instrument building; mentions work of Arthur Code and James A. Westphal. He discusses need for more light gathering and the various designs for a 10-meter telescope, including his own; rejection of E. Joseph Wampler’s meniscus design. Recalls Caltech’s plans to partner with other institutions and his support for collaborating with University of California; Jerry Nelson’s design. Discusses UC’s funding tribulations, Keck Foundation offer, Caltech’s eventual equal partnership with UC, and UC’s uneasiness. Comments on debate over siting Keck headquarters. Nelson’s work on segmented-mirror setup; detailed discussion of optical system; difficulties with Itek. Altitude problems at Keck site, including oxygen depletion and its effects. Dome design and his part in design of Nasmyth deck and elevator. Discussion of advantages of Keck Telescope over Palomar 200-inch for various astronomy projects. He concludes by describing his work with Jeremy Mould on Virgo Cluster and plans for building Keck II.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Physics, astronomy, Keck Observatory, Palomar Observatory
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Oke_B
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Oke, J. Beverley. Interview by Timothy D. Moy. Pasadena, California, September 10 and 11, 1991. 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 > Keck
Subjects > Astronomy
All Records
Subjects > Physics
ID Code:278
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:07 Sep 2018 18:18
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:24

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