Article

Physics in Perspective

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 434-467

A Conversation with Valentine L.Telegdi – Part I

  • Sara Lippincott

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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.

Keywords:

Lausanne University Swiss Federal Institute of Technology University of Chicago CERN Harvard University Office of Naval Research National Science Foundation Fermilab Argonne National Laboratory California Institute of Technology University of California at San Diego Los Alamos Carl D. Anderson James Cronin Enrico Fermi Richard Feynman Jerome Friedman Richard Garwin Murray Gell-Mann Marvin L. Goldberger Werner Heisenberg Charles Lauritsen Leon Lederman Tsung-Dao Lee Wolfgang Pauli Paul Scherrer Julian Schwinger Arnold Sommerfeld Ernest C.G. Stueckelberg Leo Szilard Edward Teller Jacques Thirion Rochus E.Vogt Victor Weisskopf Eugene Wigner Edward Witten Chien-Shiung Wu Chen Ning Yang Bargmann-Michel-Telegdi equation chemical engineering nuclear physics particle physics parity violation superstring theory physics teaching history of physics