The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

University of California-Berkeley

Haakon Chevalier's Interview - Part 2

Martin Sherwin: You mentioned a point that others have mentioned that intrigue me: [J. Robert] Oppenheimer’s summer in Corsica. You said that Oppenheimer had once told you that reading [Marcel] Proust’s Memory of Things Past was one of the great experiences of his life.

Haakon Chevalier: Yes.

Sherwin: I have two questions about that. One, could you elaborate on that? Anything that you recall he said and why. The second has to do with whether you know anything else about that summer in Corsica.

Robert Serber's Interview (1982)

Martin Sherwin: I’m interviewing Robert Serber at his home in New York City. Date is January 9th, 1982.

Let me just begin at the beginning and ask you, how did you get to Berkeley? Why did you go there?

Serber: I got my degree at Wisconsin with [John] Van Vleck, and that was ’34. You didn’t have very many choices of what you can do. But I got a National Research Fellowship, which, if I recall, there were only five of them available that year. That was a year when the new membership of the American Physical Society was thirteen.

David Bohm's Interview

Martin Sherwin: At the Stanhope Hotel in New York, June 15th, 1979.

David Bohm: I met him in about 1941. I went to Caltech to do graduate work, and I wasn’t very satisfied there. It was much too limited technically.

Sherwin: Where did you do your undergraduate work?

David Bohm

David Bohm (1917-1992) was an American experimental physicist who would later become a citizen of the United Kingdom.

After finishing his undergraduate degree at the Pennsylvania State University in 1939, Bohm arrived at the University of California, Berkeley on a seemingly meteoric rise. However, during this same period he became affiliated with the Communist Party, which would ultimately undermine his chances for success in the United States.

Marvin Goldberger's Interview

Martin Sherwin: President Goldberger, Marvin Goldberger of California Institute of Technology at Caltech in Pasadena, March 28, 1983. This is Martin Sherwin.

This is something obviously I should have done three years ago back in Princeton when you had more time, etc.

Marvin Goldberger: That’s all right. I have plenty of time.

Sherwin: You first met [J. Robert] Oppenheimer after the war, right?

Marvin Goldberger

Marvin "Murph" Goldberger (1922-2014) was an American physicist who became President of Caltech and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study.

Goldberger's academic career began in 1943 when he received a B.S. in physics from Carnegie Mellon. A member of the Army Special Engineer Detachment (SED,) he ended up at the Metallurgical Lab at the University of Chicago soon after. He spent two years working at the Met Lab as part of the Manhattan Project. 

Louis Hempelmann Interview - Part 1

Martin Sherwin: Martin Sherwin, I am about to interview Dr. Hempelmann at Strong Memorial Hospital.

You know, simply from all of the Los Alamos records, but who told me you were at Strong? That was, I think, Dorothy McKibbin.

Louis Hempelmann:  Oh yeah.

Sherwin: No, she confirmed it. She said you were coming out to Santa Fe.

Hempelmann: Yeah.

David Hawkins's Interview - Part 1

Martin Sherwin: On June 5th, 1982. Well, now, John, why don’t you start and ask questions about the relationship with Cliff, because I think the [J. Robert] Oppenheimer relationship might be able to go on forever, and we’ll never get to your questions.

John S. Rosenberg: Okay. Well, first, how did you come to meet? What was the nature of your original coming together?

David Hawkins

David Hawkins was a philosopher professor who became the administrative aide at the Los Alamos Laboratory in 1943 and the Manhattan Project's historian in 1945-46. In that role, he had free access to all the top people involved, including project director J. Robert Oppenheimer and physicist Edward Teller. In this interview, Hawkins describes his encounters with lawyer Cliff Durr after the war, when he, like Oppenheimer, was facing suspicion from the U.S. government for his involvement with the Communist Party.

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