Melba Phillips at Brooklyn College, 1997

Melba Phillips at Brooklyn College, 1997

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Melba Newell Phillips (1907-2004), US physicist, with Professor Peter Lesser of the Physics Department, Brooklyn College. Phillips carried out her doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, under J. Robert Oppenheimer. This work led to the description in 1935 of what was called the Oppenheimer-Phillips effect concerning deuteron-induced nuclear reactions. Phillips lost her job at Brooklyn College in 1952 after refusing to testify during the McCarthy era. She returned to teaching in 1957, and Brooklyn College publicly apologised to Phillips in 1987. Photographed on 17 May 1997 at a symposium in her honour at Brooklyn College.

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