Title and Description Page
Early Life and College Years 1
Family background. Growing up in Minnesota. Early interests in science, radio, shop, and drawing. Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Difficulty finding a job. Master’s degree and assistantship in physics. Teaching background in instrumentation.
Graduate Years 9
Emergence of quantum mechanics, electron impact studies, and x-rays. Influence of Walter Bleakney, P. T. Smith, and Wally Lozier. Choosing John Tate, chair of University of Minnesota Physics Department as a research advisor. Introduction to mass spectrometers. Building his first instrument. Benzene spectrum. Isotope ratios of argon and potassium. Understanding and creating experimental techniques for new instruments. Earned PhD in 1936.
Postdoctoral Years 39
Summer position with General Electric. National Research Council Fellowship. Choosing Kenneth T. Bainbridge at Harvard University. Building 180-degree instrument. Obtaining mercury spectrum in December 1936. Introduction to geochronology and Alfred Lane. Interests in geochronology. Relative abundance of lead isotopes.
Uranium Isotope Work and Pre-war Years at University of Minnesota 61
Two uranium series. Obtaining UF6/UBr4. Isotopic abundances. Reasons for returning to the University of Minnesota. Teaching. Building 180-degree instruments. Isotope separation work. Carbon-13. Meeting Enrico Fermi. Friendly competition with George Glockler.
Manhattan Project Uranium Work 79
Thermal diffusion studies. E.T. Booth, J.R. Dunning, and A.V. Grosse. Determining uranium-235 underwent slow neutron fission. Development of 60-degree instruments. Lighter, smaller instrumentation. R. B. Thorness. Building instruments for other researchers. Contract to separate uranium-235 on 180-degree instrument. Harold C. Urey. Instruments for hydrogen-deuterium analysis. Building leak detectors for gaseous diffusion plants in Oak Ridge.
Manhattan Project and Kellex Corporation 105
New York City. Managing engineering problems through mass spectrometry. Line recorder instrumentation to monitor process stream. Working with General Electric, Union Carbide, and DuPont. Returning to University of Minnesota after the War.
Post-war Years 124
Starting research program at Minnesota. Building instruments. Nier-Johnson geometry for double-focusing instruments. Carbon-12 standard and the Atomic Weight Commission. Germany. Netherlands. Potassium research. Publications and conferences. National Bureau of Standards meeting in 1951.
Leak detector. Line recorder. Schematics. Evolving instrumentation. Miniaturized instruments. Donations to the Smithsonian Institution. Hoke and Kellex. Allocating resources.
Atmospheric Studies and Meteorites 215
GCMS Probe for Titan Mission. Gaseous studies in the deep ocean. Mattauch-Herzog geometry versus Nier-Johnson geometry. Atmospheric Explorer satellites. Viking Mission entering atmosphere on 20 July 1976. Beginning meteorite work in the 1950s with helium-3 and argon-40 studies. Collaborations with Peter Signer. Aerobee Flights in the 1960s. Viking Entry Science Team. Klaus Biemann.
Geochemistry and History of Mass Spectrometry 240
Collaboration with Samuel S. Goldich in the 1950s. Don Brownlee. Helium-3 and helium-4 ratios. Active for almost sixty years. Walter Bleakney. More on the 1951 National Bureau of Standards meeting. American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Publishing, Honors, and General Reflections 251
Discussing specific publications. Work with Thorness. Election to National Academy of Sciences. Sigma Xi Lecturer. Lead isotope research. Leak detectors. Travelling. Hiking. Evolution of mass spectrometry. Transistors. Basic science. Writing grants. Short attention span and diverse research. Rapid scientific changes.