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Guide to the Frederick Reines Papers MS.F.007
MS.F.007  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement

  • Title: Frederick Reines papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.F.007
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 116.0 Linear feet (179 boxes, 18 oversized folders)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1931-1999
    Abstract: This collection documents Frederick Reines' career in nuclear physics and astrophysics as both a scientist and an academic, as well as aspects of his personal life. Material ranges from the early period of his career as a graduate student, through his early professional endeavors in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, to his later work as an experimentalist and academic at Case Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The collection documents his major scientific interests in the detection of the neutrino and the investigation of its properties, the detection of neutrinos from cosmic events such as a 1987 supernova, and the investigation of fundamental conservation laws of particle physics. Significant projects represented in the papers include neutrino experiments at Hanford and Savannah River, and the collaborations of Case-Witswatersrand-Irvine (CWI), Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven (IMB), and the Deep Underwater Muon and Neutrino Detector (DUMAND). Other materials document Reines' professional and administrative positions at Case Institute of Technology and UCI, as well as his lifetime association with Los Alamos National Laboratory as a researcher, consultant, and member of the University of California committee charged with oversight of the laboratory.
    Creator: Reines, Frederick, 1918-

    Access

    The collection is open for research. Access to files containing information on University of California personnel matters is restricted for 50 years from the latest date of the materials in those files. Access to student record material is restricted for 75 years from the latest date of the materials in those files. Restrictions are noted at the file level. Access to original audio and video cassettes is restricted; copies are made for researcher use. Access to original glass slides is restricted.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Frederick Reines Papers. MS-F007. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gifts of Frederick and Sylvia Reines, 1992-2009.

    Processing History

    Processed by Caitlin Jeffrey, William Landis, and Special Collections and Archives student assistants, 1998-2002. Processing was supported by a grant from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. Additions processed by Carole McEwan, Audra Eagle Yun, and Special Collections and Archives student assistants, 2011-2012. Processing was supported by the Reines family.

    Historical Background

    Frederick Reines was a particle physicist and educator internationally recognized for his verification of the existence of the neutrino and investigation of its properties. He was born March 16, 1918 in Paterson, New Jersey. Reines attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1939, and then went on to complete a Master's Degree in Mathematical Physics two years later. He continued his graduate studies in Physics at New York University, receiving his doctorate in 1944. His dissertation was entitled The Liquid Drop Model for Nuclear Fission.
    While writing his dissertation in 1944, Reines was recruited as a staff physicist in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Although he trained as a theoretician, Reines spent his career working as an experimentalist. During his fifteen years at Los Alamos, he worked on the Manhattan project; as director of the Operation Greenhouse experiments at Eniwetok atoll; and on various experiments testing for spontaneous fission, shock waves, and cosmic and gamma rays. Reines' early neutrino experiments at Los Alamos helped to redirect the agenda of the national laboratory towards other research objectives, in that these experiments constituted the first attempt by the national laboratory to broaden its research programs to include applications in nuclear physics other than weapons production.
    In 1953 Reines and his colleague Clyde Cowan began to explore the possibility of verifying the existence of neutrinos, which had been theorized earlier by Wolfgang Pauli and Enrico Fermi. The first experiments were conducted in 1953 in Hanford, Washington, using a nuclear reactor as a source for neutrinos. In 1956 Reines and Cowan confirmed the existence of the neutrino at the new Savannah River Plant reactor in South Carolina. In the following years the Savannah River Plant served as a site for numerous other experiments exploring the nature of neutrinos. Reines maintained his association with the Savannah River Plant throughout his career.
    From 1959 to 1966 Reines was a professor and chair of the Department of Physics at Case Institute of Technology. In 1963 he formed a collaboration between Case and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (CW); when Reines left Case for the University of California, Irvine (UCI), this collaboration became known as Case-Witwatersrand-Irvine (CWI). The primary site for this collaboration, which lasted until 1979, was the East Rand Proprietary Mine (ERPM) in South Africa, and its purpose was to investigate cosmic rays.
    In 1966 Reines assumed a new position as Dean of Physical Sciences at UCI. Serving as the founding Dean, he developed the curriculum, standards, and facilities, and attracted fellow scientists to the Southern California campus. Reines also continued to cultivate productive professional associations in the physics community. He served on national and regional committees for the development of particle physics and participated in conferences and workshops promoting this nascent subfield of physics. Reines was a member of, and from 1985-1988 chaired, the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC), which advises the President of the University of California on the administration of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Reines maintained his association with the LANL, as both a consultant and as advisor, throughout his career.
    In the 1980s Reines initiated the formation of a new collaboration with physicists from the University of Michigan and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Known as IMB (Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven), the primary purpose of the collaboration was to search for proton decay. Reines and Jack vander Velde of the University of Michigan initially acted as co-spokespersons for the collaboration; Reines later became the sole spokesperson. The principal site for the IMB collaboration was in a salt mine located in Painesville, Ohio. In 1987 IMB detected a burst of neutrinos from a supernova. The result of the detection of the Supernova 1987A neutrinos was the receipt in 1989 of the Rossi Prize, which the IMB collaborators shared with members of the Kamiokande collaboration in Japan.
    The collaboration represented by IMB reflects Reines' scientific research priorities and also demonstrates his ability to envision future fields of investigation within physics. Reines started his proton decay research in the 1950s, when the concept was not generally accepted by the physics community as a field of inquiry. He furthered this research interest through independent proton decay experiments in the Painesville salt mine during the 1960s. When the Standard Model of Particle Physics was developed in the early 1970s, the concept of proton decay gained recognition as a valid area of scientific exploration. With the advent of this model, funding for proton decay experiments became a primary objective within the field, and IMB developed out of this interest. The time frame for Reines' earlier independent proton decay experiments in the Painesville salt mine was circa 1960 to the late 1970s, while those experiments conducted as part of the IMB collaboration occurred between the late 1970s and 1989.
    Another collaboration spearheaded by Reines at UCI was the Deep Underwater Muon and Neutrino Detector (DUMAND). The primary purpose of the collaboration was to detect cosmic neutrinos. The detector was to be located on the ocean floor near Hawaii. The time period of DUMAND was the mid-1970s to 1988.
    From the mid 1970s to 1998 Reines was involved in the preliminary stages of development of other collaborations such as Gamma Ray and Neutrino Detector (GRANDE); Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF); and Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO). Most of these collaborations were not actualized in Reines' lifetime.
    Throughout his career, Reines concentrated his efforts as a scientist and academic on investigating the fundamental principles of physics. His interests in the neutrino, the gravitational constant, and baryon conservation reflect his commitment to explore and verify the accepted parameters of physics. Most of the experiments represented in this collection demonstrate his capabilities as both a theorist and experimentalist.
    Reines received numerous awards and honors from his colleagues and the community-at-large throughout his career. Some of the more prestigious awards were the conferment of membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1966); membership in the National Academy of Sciences (1980); J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize (1981); Franklin Medal (1992); National Medal of Science (1995); and the Nobel Prize in Physics (1995) for the detection of the neutrino.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection documents Frederick Reines' career in nuclear physics and astrophysics as both a scientist and an academic, as well as aspects of his personal life. Material ranges from the early period of his career as a graduate student, through his early professional endeavors in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, to his later work as an experimentalist and academic at Case Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The collection documents his major scientific interests in the detection of the neutrino and the investigation of its properties, the detection of neutrinos from cosmic events such as a 1987 supernova, and the investigation of fundamental conservation laws of particle physics. Significant projects represented in the papers include neutrino experiments at Hanford and Savannah River, and the collaborations of Case-Witswatersrand-Irvine (CWI), Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven (IMB), and the Deep Underwater Muon and Neutrino Detector (DUMAND). Other materials document Reines' professional and administrative positions at Case Institute of Technology and UCI, as well as his lifetime association with Los Alamos National Laboratory as a researcher, consultant, and member of the University of California committee charged with oversight of the laboratory.
    The material in this collection is largely textual, consisting of correspondence, data books, scientific notes and other writings, publications, clippings, meeting agendas and minutes, and course-related materials. Among other formats scattered throughout the collection are photographs, glass and film slides, audio recordings, films and video recordings, and technical drawings.
    For the purposes of this collection, "experiment" denotes scientific investigations for which Reines was the principal investigator, whereas "collaboration" represents his participation in experiments with colleagues from other institutions. Collaborations normally involved a range of experiments conducted over an extended period of time with a particular scientific objective, and they may or may not involve a particular site or facility. In the scope of this collection, experiments tend to focus on the investigation of fundamental principles of physics, while collaborations concentrate on the investigation of properties or interactions of elementary particles.
    Much of the collection focuses on the detection and investigation of the properties of the neutrino that took place at both the Savannah River Plant and the East Rand Proprietary Mine near Johannesburg, South Africa. The other major emphasis is Reines' interest in proton decay ("PDK"). Proton decay experiments were conducted at the Morton Salt Mine in Painesville, Ohio, which was the site for early proton decay experiments in the 1960s, as well as for the later investigations of the IMB collaborators.
    Personal material in the collection includes family and personal photographs, diaries, video and audio recordings, correspondence, and related documents and mementos that provide evidence of Reines' private life and interests. Frederick Reines died on August 26, 1998 at the age of 80.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into 14 series. Unless otherwise noted in the series and subseries descriptions, the arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order.
    • Series 1. Early career, circa 1931-1996.
    • Series 2. Case Institute of Technology files, 1958-1976.
    • Series 3. University of California committee files, 1970-1996.
    • Series 4. University of California, Irvine files, circa 1931-1999.
    • Series 5. Professional activities, 1934-1999.
    • Series 6. Correspondence files, 1952-2001.
    • Series 7. Publications and writings, 1945-1999.
    • Series 8. Data books, 1946-1991.
    • Series 9. Experiments, 1943-1997.
    • Series 10. Collaborations, 1952-1995.
    • Series 11. Funding agency files, 1959-1994.
    • Series 12. Personal and biographical, 1907-2001.
    • Series 13. Audio and visual material, 1955-2000.
    • Series 14. Mementos and other artifacts, 1935-1995.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Case-Witwatersrand-Irvine (Project) -- Archives.
    DUMAND (Project) -- Archives.
    Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven (Project) -- Archives.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory -- Archives.
    Reines, Frederick, 1918- -- Archives
    University of California, Irvine -- Faculty -- Archives.
    University of California. Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee -- Archives.
    University of California. Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee.
    Cosmic ray muons
    Elastic scattering
    Lantern slides
    Motion pictures (visual works) -- 21st century.
    Negatives
    Neutrino astrophysics
    Neutrinos
    Nobel Prize winners -- Archives
    Nuclear arms control
    Nuclear physicists
    Nuclear physics
    Nuclear weapons -- Testing
    Protons -- Decay -- History -- Sources
    Slides
    Sound recordings