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Interview with Maarten Schmidt on the Keck Observatory

Schmidt, Maarten (1994) Interview with Maarten Schmidt on the Keck Observatory. [Oral History]

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An interview in two sessions, January and February 1992, with Maarten Schmidt, Francis L. Moseley Professor of Astronomy in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy (PMA). He recalls being brought into plans for a 10-meter telescope in 1978-1979 as director of the Hale Observatories, by Robert Sinsheimer, chancellor of UC Santa Cruz. Appoints Allan Sandage and Keith Matthews to UC committees on the project. His membership on UC Graybeards Committee that chose Jerry Nelson’s segmented-mirror design. He discusses alternative designs, and Caltech’s consideration of other big-telescope projects, eventual choice of partnership with the University of California. UC’s difficulties with Hoffman Foundation funding; eventual funding for Caltech from Keck Foundation. Howard Keck’s early interest in having two telescopes on Mauna Kea. Caltech’s efforts to assure UC that they would remain equal partners on Keck project. Comments on disagreement over siting of telescope headquarters. UCLA’s disaffection; contribution of Harland Epps. Discussion of figuring the mirror segments; troubles with Itek. Jerry Nelson’s tests at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; disadvantages of meniscus design. Drive toward larger telescopes after “back-end” improvements, such as CCDs, were made. Advantages of Keck Telescope over Palomar. Expectations and plans for his own viewing of quasars on Keck I, and its importance to gathering information on galaxies further back in time. Origins and plans for Keck II.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Physics, astronomy, Keck Observatory
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Schmidt_M_Keck
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URLURL TypeDescription HistoryInterview with Maarten Schmidt
Official Citation:Schmidt, Maarten. Interview by Timothy D. Moy. Pasadena, California, January 21 and February 5, 1992. 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:280
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:07 Sep 2018 18:19
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:24

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