Ernest Lawrence

Ernest orlando lawrence
known for his invention, utilization, and improvement of the cyclotron atom-smasher beginning in 1929

Hosted AMAs

Highest Rated Comments

SunSlayer11567 karma

So I've asked, and she does not remember a Richard Feynman. She says she was only introduced to important people. She said Feynman was likely in Los Alamos, and different groups were kept out of contact with each other, because of security concerns. Also, from my understanding, Feynman wasn't that well known at that point.

tl, dr: Richard Feynman may be by biological grandfather, and my grandmother is pretending not to remember.

SunSlayer11319 karma

"Most people were pretty serious. We were in the middle of a war, and we were trying to help. After the war things became much more fun." For example, after the war, six of the engineers would ask her to come in and take notes. Then, when she would get up to leave, they would have rigged the door mechanism so she couldn't get out. (I guess that's how mechanical engineers flirt, because she ended up marrying one of those engineers.)

SunSlayer11280 karma

"A normal physicists who's mind is miles away. A very nice guy actually." A good story is about his brother Frank, who was also a physicist. Back in the war, they all used to sort of date. One date, Frank Oppenheimer took his girlfriend out and parked with a view of the Berkeley hills. After a while he got to thinking, got out of the car and started walking around. After a couple of hours, his girlfriend got tired of waiting and drove home with out him. Frank Oppenheimer then just walked home. Everyone at the Rad Lab had some fun with that.

SunSlayer11275 karma

"I went to the University of California employment office and asked for a job. And they sent me up to the Rad Lab. They hired me on the spot." Note to self: Maybe my grandmother was a looker...

SunSlayer11269 karma

Everyone was amazed at what happened. Most people did not know that what was going on at the lab was related to a bomb. Most people hoped it would end the war. Many of those in the lab has lost loved-ones and wanted the war to end.

SunSlayer11242 karma

Actually, the dating scene was really tough for most of the scientists. For example, my grandfather was 21 when the war started. He was healthy, with no children, and no wife. Perfect for the draft. But he didn't serve, and when women meet him, they would ask him why he didn't serve. All he could say was, "I work at UC Berkeley" because the whole thing was a secret. They would assume the worst, and dating was impossible. The result is they tended to marry people within the project, who understood. See: my grandparents.

Also, my grandfather's first job out of college, age 21, was working in the Manhattan project. And what have I done with my life?

SunSlayer11211 karma

Exactly, and then throw in the fact that he doesn't know where is car is now.

SunSlayer11143 karma

"Not really, their could have been spies all over the university, but I never suspected that." I'll follow that up by asking about security. At the entrance into the building there were two military people that everyone had to go through. Also, she believe that there were people listening to the phone conversations. Often when Fermi would call, should would have trouble understanding. He would get excited (mad) and start speaking Italian. Then the phone would get cut off. Presumably, the military didn't want anyone knowing Italian was being spoken at the University.

SunSlayer11140 karma

"No. No. He was a very regular guy. He never pushed his way. Just a normal guy. A normal physicist. And all physicists are a little cookie." I should point out at this point, that I grew up with hearing stories about Dr. Lawrence's amusing habits.

SunSlayer11107 karma

:) Will do, but we are old fashioned WASPs, so a kiss sort of out of the question. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!