Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (2 of 40). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Interviewees

    Rotblat, Joseph, 1908-2005 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: JR talks about his trials during the exam and how he dealt with them and succeeded. The dean - Prof. Wertenstein asked to see him and became his great mentor. JR started academic studies in the evenings, worked together with girl who became and remained great friend, more about her. Prof. Wertenstein ran Radiological Laboratory - more about this Institute - connection to Mme Curie - The Institute was similar to a University but there was no money after the war and people worked without salaries, many good people worked there. Prof. Werenstein was unique, a good scientist but also general scholar and good communicator. Main work on radioactivity and rivalry with Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. JR talks about different methods used in different laboratories. Invention of Geiger counter. JR made one himself and explains his method of work. Later he got job as assistant in physics laboratory. Eventually the Government accepted his diploma for University but he had to get Matura. He gave up job as electrical engineer and did some teaching.

  • Description

    Nobel Peace Prize-winner and nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat in conversation about his life and work. A key figure in the development of the atomic bomb, he left the US government's Manhattan Project once it became apparent that Nazi Germany did not have the capability to build a bomb of its own.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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