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.


Getting my Q clearance


Julian Schwinger's letter of recommendation
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

So I wanted to go to the Institute of Advanced Study and I knew it would be hard to get in because there was a lot of competition. It was a pretty plush thing to do. I went to [Julian] Schwinger and I said, 'Could you write me a letter of recommendation to the Institute?' And he made a face. I mean, because I was probably the 35th person that day who had asked for a letter of recommendation. And I said, 'Well, I'll do the same for you some day.' Then he thought that was pretty funny, so he wrote me a letter.

Then Vicky Weisskopf wrote me a letter, and I had a collection of papers by that time. I'd written about a half a dozen papers, all sort of on the same kind of subject. They were all pretty practical nuclear physics, elementary particle subjects. And I have no idea why they took me. I must ask Dyson sometime why they took me, but they did.

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: Institute for Advanced Study, Julian Schwinger, Victor Weisskopf, Freeman Dyson

Duration: 1 minute, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 07 September 2011