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Guide to the Papers of William A. Fowler, 1917-1994
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
These papers document the career of William A. Fowler, who served on the physics faculty at California Institute of Technology from 1939 until 1982. Focusing heavily on nuclear physics and astrophysics, the Fowler papers form a rich and important collection for the history of physics, and illustrate the politics and sociology of science in the twentieth century. They also contain substantial material on Caltech's World War II rocket developments, plus documents on Project Vista, a Cold-War strategic defense study headed by Fowler.
Background
Physicist William A. Fowler received the Nobel Prize in Physics with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1983 for his "theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe." For most of his scientific career, he was the acknowledged leader of the discipline of nuclear astrophysics and the driving force behind the theory of nucleosynthesis that the elements and their isotopes were generated in stellar furnaces.
Extent
94 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.