Fiftess prominent scientist from Harvard and MIT gathered at a luncheon meeting of the Joint Sciences Electronics Program to honor the program's retiring director, 1981 Nobel lameate Nicholts Bioembergen, Grade University professor of Physics.
Rumford Professor of Physics Michael Tinkham will be taking over as director of the federally-funded program, which the 63-year-old Bloembergen headed for the past 16 years.
The Defense Department founded the program after World War II to encourage physics and applied science research. The program serves as an umbrella for smaller research projects in 14 U.S. universities, including Harvard, MIT, Stanford University, the University of Texas, and the University of Illinois. The Department awards Harvard's researchers an annual grant of approximately $720,000 and Harvard reserves part of this sum for graduate students' theses.
But the Nuclear-Free Cambridge referendum, to be voted on November 8, may restrict the program's freedom to conduct basic nuclear research, Bloembergen said. "It will keep stricter tabs" on the program's researchers, he said.
The 10 research projects at Harvard are in four different areas, including electronics, electrodynamics, robotics, and electromagnetic theory.
Professor Bloembergen said that after observing nuclear research in this country, he is glad to have been the director of a project that, unlike other projects, has experienced almost no "administrative harassment's."
The Nuclear-Free Cambridge Act would ban any research done in Cambridge, "the purpose of which is the research... of nuclear weapons," with the exception of basic nuclear research. The act does not, however, define "basic nuclear research."