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Working at the Harvard Cyclotron laboratory


My terrible thesis
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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 I had a very good time in graduate school. A lot of people had a miserable grad, I had a great time in graduate school and wrote my thesis. It was a terrible thesis. It was… I mean, unjustified approximations, it was just an awful thesis. Really no purpose to this thesis. But I once met… I wrote my thesis on the deuteron, and I told Zemach, 'I'm writing my thesis on the deuteron, I'm calling it Deuteronomy.' He said, 'Well, I'm calling mine Exodus.' And that's what I should have called mine, was Exodus, because, you know, it got me out.

And then I, of course, had no job. I had a vague offer, which thank God I didn't take, to go to the University of Virginia and work on centrifuges. Boy, I'm lucky I didn't do that.

Born in 1929, Jeremy Bernstein is an American physicist, educator and writer known for the clarity of his writing for the lay reader on the major issues of modern physics. After graduating from Harvard University, Bernstein worked at Harvard and at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1962 he became an Associate Professor of Physics at New York University, and later a Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a position he continues to hold. He was also on the staff of The New Yorker magazine.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Virginia University

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 17 August 2011