May 1, 2013

"The Physicist's Conception of Nature"

Jagdish Mehra
Jagdish Mehra
Jagdish Mehra was an Indian-American physicist and historian of science born in Meerut, India on April 8, 1937. He came to the United States in 1957, and was educated at Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where he received his Ph.D. in 1963. He was appointed assistant professor of physics at Purdue University (1964-65), assistant professor of physics at University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth (1965-67), program director of the Science Research Association at IBM Chicago (1967-69), special research associate at the University of Texas, Austin (1969-73), and professor at the Solvay Institute Brussels (1973-88). He held distinguished visiting appointments in Houston, Texas, and Geneva, Switzerland, and as Regent's Professor in the University of California at Irvine. During the 1980's Mehra lectured at Rice University and the University of Houston, as well as at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy (1989-1991).

Simon C. Moss
Simon C. Moss, former physics professor at UH.
Dr. Mehra's research in the history of 20th century physics has produced taped interviews with many famous scientists. His recorded interviews, with most of the distinguished physicists of the 20th Century, notably Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman, Werner Heisenberg, and Eugene Wigner, explored and documented the origin and development of their revolutionary ideas. He came into close personal contact with all the creators of quantum mechanics, and has used these interactions in The Historical Development of Quantum Theory (a six-volume work co-authored with Helmut Rechenberg) and has published extensively on other histroical and conceptual developments of modern physics. Mehra’s interests extended far beyond science in which the interviews he conducted included those with literary and philosophical celebrities such as T. S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, Louis Aragon, Carl Gustav Jung, and Jean Paul Sartre.

Edward Teller
Edward Teller, developer of the hydrogen bomb, visiting UH.
The Jagdish Mehra Collection – highly praised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as “absolutely unique as a scientific and cultural source” – now comprises a premier research center of the University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections. This first digital collection to go online consists of remastered audio tapes, transcripts and speaker biographies from a small portion of this unique oral history collection. It features speakers from the annual humanities series presented at the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (now the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth).

If you're interested in more images and the actual audio tapes of the collection, you can visit the University of Houston Digital Library's Jagdish Mehra Audio Collection, or the Special Collections located in the M.D Anderson Library.

Alex Ignatuiev
Alex Ignatiev, current physics instructor at UH, giving a presentation.

Structure, function, and folding of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) are strongly perturbed by macromolecular crowding
"Structure, function, and folding of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) are strongly perturbed by macromolecular crowding"

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