a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please untick here if you DO NOT wish us to contact you about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

Loading the player... If you can't see this video please get the Flash Player.

NEXT STORY

The betrayal by Klaus Fuchs

RELATED STORIES

Being a house guest of Rudolf and Genia Peierls
Freeman Dyson Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

So Peierls was wonderful and he not only gave me a job but he had me in his house as a guest. I was a house guest of Peierls the whole of that first year in Birmingham. Genia Peierls, the wife of Peierls, was like a mother in a way my own mother never had been. She's a very warm person. She had four kids of her own, always had the house full of students, and many students came through her house with just marvellous memories of her.

[Q] And you spoke English or you spoke Russian?

With her I always spoke English. She had no patience with my sort of half-baked Russian. She spoke of course a very strange kind of English but it was clear and well understood. So, I got along extraordinarily well with her, and she was what made Birmingham really worthwhile for me, and Rudi also. Rudi was much too busy. He had heavy responsibilities as teacher, and head of the department and administration. He had to do almost everything himself.

Born in England in 1923, Freeman Dyson moved to Cornell University after graduating from Cambridge University with a BA in Mathematics. He subsequently became a professor and worked on nuclear reactors, solid state physics, ferromagnetism, astrophysics and biology. He has published several books and, among other honours, has been awarded the Heineman Prize and the Royal Society's Hughes Medal.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Birmingham, Rudolf Peierls, Genia Peierls

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1998

Date story went live: 24 January 2008