The History of InfoAge Science & History Museums

Oral Histories - Oral History of DRS. STANLEY KRONENBERG & GEORGE BRUCKER – Tape 2


Interviewer: Michael Ruane
Date: 1998?
Place: Camp Evans – 9039
Media: NTSC Video
Summary: Mr. Irv Bauman



This is a return visit, for a further interview after Tape 9. Dr. K indicated that when he came to the U.S. there were few problems. His family came with him. There never was a thought in his mind to return to Europe. In 1948 – 9, Nucleonics Br. provided the research effort to develop radiation detection monitoring equipment for the Army, that had had nothing available for this purpose, at that time. With the growth in the possibility of a nuclear attack, the U.S. had no means of quantifying the effect. It became evident that there existed a requirement to send equipment to the field, to measure potential decontamination. There was a need for personnel dosimeters to measure dosages. For the first effort, Bendix Corp. developed an electrometer kind of instrument that was self-reading & simple to use. Two such units were developed, with different sensitivities. Dr. K. described the instrument design. He discussed the dose range of each of the two instruments, which, though designed 45 yrs. ago were cheap and simple to use. They are still in use today in the Nuclear Industry.

A 3rd and new device with a significantly higher sensitivity was then developed and described. Still later, a 4th became available which measured the ambient radioactivity of air with simple replaceable covers to measure alpha, beta, & gamma particles. It
was easy to use and could also measure Radon within 15 minutes. He described the unit’s performance measuring concentrations. This is now being used for other than nuclear radiation. George was involved in Space Exploration, working with NASA on the neutron & gamma-ray content in space. He was involved in determining the spectral range of neutrons. Dr. K indicates that to construct any of their devices, it took a Mathematician and a Machinist, working together to build another of his devices. They came up with a Neutron Spectrometer and are currently negotiating with NASA for sponsorship. They already have a Neutron Generator to proceed with their experiments. George designed the electronics to work in space with RCA. He then spoke of the use of solar cells to operate the electronics in the station. RCA made the very first solar cell which had to be product improved to last longer in space. Sarnoff Labs, RCA, developed a new cell and was invited to come to Evans to use their Van De Graf Equipment to check out the new development which became successful and is in use today.

Dr. K heard many stories told by Dr. Zahl, Director of the Radar Labs. He wrote several books about Radar. Dr. K. then spoke of meeting Dr. Einstein in Princeton and found him to be the nicest and kindest man. George came to Evans in 1950 thru 1962 and left to join Sarnoff Labs. Dr. K. then spoke of Operation Plowshare where several nuclear devices were exploded underground to form a continuous canal with the collapse of the surface ground, a possible way of utilizing nuclear energy to produce canals, river beds, etc, but this effort went nowhere. He then demonstrated several Dosimeter devices, explaining the theory and operation of each in detail with George’s participation.

43 min.

Another speaker followed referring to JTARS & SOTAS and to agreements with the state of Israel, which, I believe is unrelated to this interview series relating to the history of Evans.

Page created August 2, 2002

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