Physics in Perspective

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 434–467

A Conversation with Valentine L.Telegdi – Part I

  • Sara Lippincott

DOI: 10.1007/s00016-006-0306-2

Cite this article as:
Lippincott, S. Phys. perspect. (2007) 9: 434. doi:10.1007/s00016-006-0306-2

The Hungarian experimental physicist Valentine L.Telegdi, who died on April 8, 2006, recalls his early interest in physics and chemistry; his education as a chemical engineer at Lausanne University and eventual turn toward experimental physics; and his graduate work at ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Ph.D. 1950). Goes to the University of Chicago in 1951; recollections of Enrico Fermi, Murray Gell-Mann, Leo Szilard, and other colleagues there. Recalls his work with Jerome Friedman on parity violation in muon decay and his work at CERN with Richard Garwin. Discouraged with state of physics in Chicago, he returns to ETH in 1976, with a joint appointment at CERN. Begins regular visits to Caltech in 1981; compares the style of teaching and research there with his European experience. Discusses his 1987 festschrift at CERN; Gell-Mann’s 1989 festschrift at Caltech; recollections of Richard Feynman, Gell-Mann, Edward Witten. Comments on current state of particle physics.


Lausanne UniversitySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyUniversity of ChicagoCERNHarvard UniversityOffice of Naval ResearchNational Science FoundationFermilabArgonne National LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyUniversity of California at San DiegoLos AlamosCarl D. AndersonJames CroninEnrico FermiRichard FeynmanJerome FriedmanRichard GarwinMurray Gell-MannMarvin L. GoldbergerWerner HeisenbergCharles LauritsenLeon LedermanTsung-Dao LeeWolfgang PauliPaul ScherrerJulian SchwingerArnold SommerfeldErnest C.G. StueckelbergLeo SzilardEdward TellerJacques ThirionRochus E.VogtVictor WeisskopfEugene WignerEdward WittenChien-Shiung WuChen Ning YangBargmann-Michel-Telegdi equationchemical engineeringnuclear physicsparticle physicsparity violationsuperstring theoryphysics teachinghistory of physics

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© Birkhaueser 2007

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  • Sara Lippincott

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