The Caltech Archives
Welcome imageimageimage
Archives Catalog Entry

Oral History
Peter Goldreich Oral History Interview with Shirley Cohen [sound recording]

This interview is part of the LIGO Interviews, Series I.
Interview in five sessions in March, April, and November 1998 with Peter Goldreich, Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Physics 1981-2003 (emeritus 2003), with joint appointments in the Division of Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy and the Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences. He begins by discussing his family background and early education at Bronx High School of Science; engineering physics at Cornell; graduate work at Cornell with Thomas Gold on solar-system dynamics (PhD 1963). Postdoc with Donald Lynden-Bell at Cambridge; work on spiral density waves in galaxies. Friendship with Wallace Sargent. Assistant professorship at UCLA. Joins Caltech faculty 1966 as associate professor, with joint appointments in physics and geology divisions, becomes full professor 1969. Resident associate in Page House 1976-1980. Suicide of assistant professor Peter Young, 1981. 1987 presidential search committee. Discusses his work on orbital dynamics, solar rotation, magnetospheres, pulsars, astronomical masers, circumstellar disks, solar oscillations, planetary rings, shepherd satellites, interstellar turbulence, white-dwarf pulsations. Long discussion of LIGO [Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory] history at Caltech, including his involvement in conflict between LIGO's original leader, Ronald W. P. Drever, and Rochus (Robbie) Vogt, LIGO director 1987-1994. His support, with Sargent and Maarten Schmidt, of Drever. Comments on current state of astronomy and physics at Caltech. Closes with recollections of receiving National Medal of Science from President Clinton in 1995.

ID: 1998-00145
Goldreich, Peter Martin (Astrophysicist)

Creation Mar. 25, 1998 through Nov. 11, 1998

MEDIUM: Sound recording; FORMAT: Sound cassette: analog; QUANTITY: 1 set (5 cassettes per set)

Topics: LIGO, Astrophysics

For information on using Archives materials for commercial or educational purposes (including reproducing PhotoNet images) please see Access and Use.

Return to Search the Archives

Search Help