Oral history of British science
Forrest, Michael (Part 10 of 14). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Abingdon
Forrest, Michael, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 10: Remarks on Sinakof's role finding distilled water for coolling equipment. Description of laser scattering installation and Tokamak, rough nature of Russian equipment finish compared to British. [04:30] Remarks on laser scattering equipment in operation: syncronisation of laser and Tokamak plasma; inability to see scattered laser above background light; dust covered measuring port on Tokamak leading to underestimate of background light; change of laser mode to short laser pulses, modification of equipment by Peter Wilcock; problem with laser prisms being destroyed by laser beam; components sent via Embassy diplomatic bag; embasy, meeting Tony Wedgewood-Benn at embassy; Tony Wedgewood-Benn still remembering visit. [10:45] Comments on first laser scattering successes: MF and Peter Wilcock away in UK when Derrick Robinson and Sinakof were the first to gain results; Derrick Robinson informaing Base Pease; change of US fusion machies to Tokamaks; producing first paper; Tokamak producing higher than expected temperatures; [13:00] challenge to MF of getting equipment working; display of successful result on oscillascope; writing of 'Nature' paper and first physcis report; feelings on success of project, death of father; pressure of work; Russian's calm but happy at success; Derrick Robinson under strain of doing both practical and theoretical work; Nichol Peacock's happiness at results; [18:30] congratulations and MF promotion to principle scientific officer; story about demonstration at Royal Society at Carlton house terrace to VIP's, including George Thomson and [Laurence] Bragg.
Life story interview with physicist Dr Michael Forrest.