a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

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

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed 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.


A paper on the orbits in a cyclotron


Visiting Isidor Isaac Rabi
Hans Bethe Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Rabi invited me very frequently to come to Columbia. On one of the occasions he showed me papers by an interesting graduate student who I think at that time may have been still at City College. His name was Julian Schwinger, and I looked at the papers and was much impressed and then Rabi got Julian to come and talk to me and he obviously knew at least as much as I did. So I wrote a letter to Rabi saying so and saying that indeed Julian Schwinger was... was ready to be a professor rather than a graduate student. And where we had... I had very good visits with Rabi who was deep in... in explaining... no, exploring magnetic resonance's, electron spin, nuclear spin, you name it, and he had very good students. One of them was Norman Ramsey who stayed in the field and was very productive.

The late German-American physicist Hans Bethe once described himself as the H-bomb's midwife. He left Nazi Germany in 1933, after which he helped develop the first atomic bomb, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his contribution to the theory of nuclear reactions, advocated tighter controls over nuclear weapons and campaigned vigorously for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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: Columbia University, City College, Norman Ramsay, II Rabi, Julian Schwinger

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008