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Interview with J. Harold Wayland

Wayland, J. Harold (1986) Interview with J. Harold Wayland. [Oral History]

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An interview in six sessions, December 1983–January 1985, with J. Harold Wayland, professor emeritus of engineering science in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Wayland received a BS in physics and mathematics from the University of Idaho, 1931, and became a graduate student at Caltech in 1933, earning his PhD in 1937. After graduation he taught at the University of Redlands while working at Caltech as a research fellow with H. Bateman until 1941. Joins Naval Ordnance Laboratory as head of the magnetic model section for degaussing ships; War Research Fellow at Caltech 1944-45; heads Navy’s Underwater Ordnance Division. In 1949, joins Caltech’s faculty as associate professor of applied mechanics, becoming professor of engineering science in 1963; emeritus in 1979. He describes his early education and graduate work at Caltech under R. A. Millikan; courses with W. R. Smythe, F. Zwicky, M. Ward, and W. V. Houston; teaching mathematics; research with O. Beeck. Fellowship, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen; work with G. Placzek and M. Knisely; interest in rheology. On return, teaches physics at the University of Redlands meanwhile working with Bateman. Recalls his work at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and torpedo development for the Navy. Discusses streaming birefringence; microcirculation and its application to various fields; Japan’s contribution; evolution of Caltech’s engineering division and the Institute as a whole; his invention of the precision animal table and intravital microscope. Involvement with the Athenaeum. Friendship with Sidney Weinbaum; Weinbaum’s trial. In the last two sessions, conducted by his daughter Ann, he reminisces about growing up in Boise, Idaho; living conditions as a Caltech graduate student. Further comments on Copenhagen, colleagues there, meeting Niels Bohr, and his career at the University of Redlands.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Engineering and applied science
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Wayland_J
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wayland, J. Harold. Interview by John L. Greenberg and Ann Peters. Pasadena, California, December 9, 30, 1983; January 16, 1984; January 3, 5, 7, 1985. 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 > Engineering
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ID Code:295
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:12 Apr 2021 22:41
Last Modified:21 Apr 2021 17:24

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