This book covers the life and 60-year career of Prof. Benjamin Lax (1915-2015), a preeminent physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who played major roles in the development and applications of solid state and plasma physics.
In an extensive series of autobiographical interviews, Lax describes the challenges he overcame, the opportunities he embraced, and the many outstanding research physicists he recruited, mentored, and interacted with. He includes both personal and professional reminiscences.
Lax begins with his earliest memories of his childhood in Hungary. He recalls the immigration of his family to America and his education in New York City. He describes his Army service as a Radar Officer at the MIT Radiation Laboratory during World War II. He covers his graduate education in physics at MIT, and his building up the semiconductor and ferrite research groups at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the 1950s. He describes the origins and accomplishments of the MIT Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory, of which he was the founding Director, and recalls his tenure as professor in the MIT physics department.
Chapter 1: Early Years in Miskolc, Hungary, 1915-1926
Chapter 2: School Days in Brooklyn, 1926-1936
Chapter 3: College Days at Brooklyn College and Cooper Union 1936-1942
Chapter 4: Army Days at Officer Candidate School and the MIT Radiation Laboratory, 1942-1945
Chapter 5: Graduate School in Physics at MIT, 1945-1951
Chapter 6: MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 1951-1958
Chapter 7: MIT Frances Bitter National Magnet Laboratory, 1958-198
Chapter 8: Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory, 1958-1981
Chapter 9: Professor of Physics at MIT, 1965-1981
Chapter 10: Emeritus Years and Consulting, 1981-2006