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Jesse Greenstein Oral History Interview with Rachel Prud'Homme [sound recording]

Interview in three sessions in 1982 with Jesse L. Greenstein, DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics, emeritus. Greenstein discusses his early career at the Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago, under Otto Struve (1937-1948), and his arrival at Caltech in 1948 to build an astronomy department in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy. He discusses the early partnership between Caltech and the Carnegie Institution of Washington in running Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, the interactions between observational astronomy and theoretical astrophysics, and the rise of radio astronomy. Besides his discussion of his work on stellar composition, the interview contains his recollections of such twentieth-century pioneers of astronomy and astrophysics as Struve, Grote Reber, Gerard Kuiper, Edwin Hubble, Fritz Zwicky, Walter Baade, Rudolph Minkowski, H. P. Robertson, Richard Tolman, and Fred Hoyle--and of various Caltech principals including Lee DuBridge, Earnest Watson, Arnold Beckman, and Robert Christy. He also discusses his service in the 1960s as chairman of Caltech's Faculty Board and member of its Aims and Goals Committee. He speculates about the scarcity of women astronomers and the difficulties they face. In an addendum to his interview, he discusses in more technical detail latter-day changes in instrumentation, the impact of new and improved detectors, and their contributions to his work on white dwarfs.

ID: 1982-00009
Greenstein, Jesse Leonard (Astrophysicist)

Creation Feb. 25, 1982 through Mar. 23, 1982

MEDIUM: Sound recording; FORMAT: Sound cassette: analog; QUANTITY: 1 set (4 cassettes )

Topics: Astronomy

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