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Guide to the Stanford University, Dept. of Physics, Oral Exam Questions
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Collection Details
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  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access Terms

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC1167
    Creator: Stanford University. Department of Physics.
    Title: Stanford University, Dept. of Physics, oral exam questions
    Dates: 1947-1958
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 volume)
    Summary: 1 bound volume of handwritten physics oral exam questions.
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Green Library
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Perry Wilson, 2009.

    Information about Access

    The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    [identification of item], Stanford University, Dept. of Physics, oral exam questions (SC1167). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Contents

    Referred to as the “Black Book” or “Doomsday Book,” the materials consist of a bound volume of handwritten notes by various Stanford Physics Ph.D. students from 1947-1958. Immediately after completing their oral exams, graduate students would detail their exam questions and experiences (excluding the answers) in the notebook. The volume was passed along to serve as a study guide to other students preparing for their own oral exams who would in turn record their wisdom in the “Doomsday Book.”
    The first entry was created by Emory H. Rogers on October 20, 1947, and according to Perry B. Wilson (Professor Emeritus, SLAC, and Ph.D. Physics 1958), Rogers may be the one who wrote “Doomsday Book” in the notebook’s inside cover. On December 5, 1958, BJ Bjorken wrote the final entry on the book’s last page. Approximately 100 students wrote in the book, and there are about 300 pages in the volume.

    Access Terms

    Wilson, Perry B.
    Physics--Study and teaching.
    Stanford University--Faculty.
    Universities and colleges--Alumni
    Universities and colleges--Faculty.