Guide to the Albert V. Baez Papers SC1052

Daniel Hartwig & Jenny Johnson
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
July 2011
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford 94305-6064


This encoded finding aid is compliant with Stanford EAD Best Practice Guidelines, Version 1.0.

Language of Material: Undetermined
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title: Albert V. Baez papers
creator: Baez, Albert V.
Identifier/Call Number: SC1052
Physical Description: 13.75 Linear Feet (10 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1949-1995
Abstract: The materials consist of research files, correspondence, teaching materials, biographical material, publications, photographs, and some experimental equipment.

Information about Access

The materials are open for research.
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 94304-6064. 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:
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], Albert V. Baez Papers (SC1052). Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Scope and Contents

The materials consist of research files, correspondence, teaching materials, biographical material, publications, photographs, and some experimental equipment.

Biographical / Historical

Albert Vinicio Baez, Ph.D. (1912-2007) was a prominent Mexican-American physicist, and the father of singers Joan Baez and Mimi Fariña.
Dr. Baez earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Drew University in 1933 and his master's degree in physics from Syracuse University in 1935. In 1936, he married Joan Chandos Bridge, the daughter of an Episcopalian minister. The couple became Quakers and had three daughters, Pauline, Joan and Mimi. Together they moved to California, where he pursued a doctorate in physics.
In 1948, along with Stanford University professor Paul Kirkpatrick (1894–1992), Baez developed the X-ray reflection microscope for examination of living cells. This microscope is still used today in medicine. Baez received his PhD in physics from Stanford in 1950. After graduating, he developed zone plates—concentric circles of alternating opaque and transparent materials to use diffraction instead of refraction to focus X-rays. Unfortunately, much of his work had to await the development of synchrotron X-rays sources several decades later.
As the Cold War arose in the 1950s, Dr. Baez's talents were in high demand for the developing arms race. However, influenced by his family's pacifist beliefs, he refused lucrative war industry jobs, preferring instead to devote his career to education and humanitarianism. From 1950 to 1956, he held a professorship at the University of Redlands, where he continued his X-ray research. Dr. Baez took a yearlong leave to work with UNESCO in 1951, stationing his family in Baghdad to establish the physics department and laboratory at Baghdad University. In 1959, Dr. Baez accepted a faculty position at MIT, and moved his family to the Boston area. In 1960, working with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, he developed optics for an X-ray telescope. Later that year he moved to the faculty of Harvey Mudd College, and moved his family to Claremont, California. From 1961 to 1967, he directed science teaching for UNESCO in Paris.
Dr. Baez was the author of the textbook The New College Physics: A Spiral Approach (1967). He was also the co-author of the textbook The Environment and Science and Technology Education (1987) and the memoir A Year in Baghdad (1988). Dr. Baez made almost 100 films about physics for the Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corp from 1967 to 1974. He also chaired the Commission on Education of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources from 1979 to 1983.
After his retirement, Dr. Baez occasionally delivered physics lectures and was president of Vivamos Mejor/USA, an organization founded in 1988 to help impoverished villages in Mexico. Its projects include preschool education, environmental projects, and community and educational activities. In 1991, the International Society for Optical Engineering awarded him and Kirkpatrick the Dennis Gabor Award for pioneering contributions to the development of X-ray imaging microscopes and X-ray imaging telescopes. In 1995, the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) established the Albert V. Baez Award for Technical Excellence and Service to Humanity. Dr. Baez himself was inducted into the HENAAC Hall of Fame in 1998.
He died of natural causes March 20, 2007 at age 94.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Stanford University -- Faculty.
X-ray microscopy
Physics -- Experiments.
X-ray holography
Baez, Albert V.



box 1, folder 1    

X-Ray Telescope

box 1, folder 2    

Professor Paul Kirkpatrick

box 1, folder 3    

X-Ray Optics Paper

box 1, folder 4    

X-Ray Pictures

box 1, folder 5    

Soft X-Ray Microscopes

box 1, folder 6    

X-Ray holography

box 1, folder 7    

Richard B. Hoover Papers

box 1, folder 8    

Renaissance of X-Ray Optics

box 1, folder 9    

X-Ray Pictures using Zone Plates at Lawrence Livermore National Lab

box 1, folder 10  

Dr. Baez's Ph.D. Thesis (Copy) – Stanford University 1949 Aug

box 1, folder 11

Introduction to Optics using Microwaves ( Draft by Baez, Reprint of a Review Article on Microwave Spectroscopy)

box 1, folder 12

Optics Education (Reprints, booklets, Journal Issues, on teaching of Optics)

box 1, folder 13

Technology in Education (Printed Articles)

box 1, folder 14

Technology in Education (Booklets)

box 1, folder 15

Stanford University Physics 23 Course (Baez’s Syllabus and Lectures)

box 1, folder 16

Stanford University Physics 29 Course (Baez's Syllabus and Lectures)

box 1, folder 17

Stanford University Physics 21 Course (Baez’s Syllabus and Lectures)

box 1, folder 18

Harvard Summer School (Photographs of Students, 5 sections) 1968

box 1, folder 19

Preparation of Harvard Summer School Lectures (Description of Auto Lectures)

box 1, folder 20

Harvard Summer School, Micro-Notes I

box 1, folder 21

Harvard Summer School, Micro-Notes II

box 1, folder 22

Harvard Summer School, Overhead Transparencies

box 1, folder 23

Auto Lecture Transcripts I

box 1, folder 24

Auto Lecture Transcripts II

box 1, folder 25

Auto Lecture Transcripts III

box 1, folder 26

Harvard Summer School Pre Tests

box 1, folder 27

Auto Lecture Illustrations

box 1, folder 28

Harvard Summer School, Students

box 1, folder 29

Harvard Summer School, Improvement Printed 1971

box 1, folder 30

Correspondence with Harvard Professor Purcell

box 1, folder 31

Science Teaching at UNESCO, Research and Outline

box 1, folder 32

Copies of popular articles of the B.F. Skinner vs. Noam Chomsky debate(s)

box 3, folder 1    

Central Washington Speech, X-Ray Optics plus Transparencies

box 3, folder 2    

Talk at Sonoma State University, Physics Department 1986

box 3, folder 3    

Holography Publication with G. Castro Reprints 1999

box 3, folder 4    

Pre-prints of 3 papers by A.V. Baez

box 3, folder 5    

A.V. Baez, Biographical Sketches and Press Clippings

box 3, folder 6    

A.V. Baez, Diary and Science Notes Summer 1956

box 3, folder 7    

Miscellaneous Clippings from newspapers and magazines

box 3, folder 8    

Correspondence with Professor Manfred von Ardenne of Dresden 1956-57

box 3, folder 9    

X-Rays, Various reprints, 1966-68

box 3, folder 10  

X-Ray Research, Various reprints, some manufacturers literature

box 3, folder 11  

X-Ray Pictures II, Various unlabeled X-ray photos(probably taken by Baez at the University of Redlands) 1956

box 3, folder 12  

Bibliography, various published bibliographies on X-Ray Radiography

box 3, folder 13  

X-Ray Astronomy, Various reprints and some correspondence

box 3, folder 14  

X-Ray Sources, reprints of solar and interstellar x-rays

box 3, folder 15  

X-Ray Spectrographic Chart, X-Ray lines of the elements

box 3, folder 16  

X-Ray Detectors, reprint on scintillators, report on outer space detection

box 3, folder 17  

X-Ray Mic. Lit., Correspondence and reprints on X-Ray Microscopy

box 3, folder 18  

X-Ray Microscopy New Tool, Notes, Lectures, Correspondence on X-Ray Microscopy 1953-64

box 3, folder 19  

The X-Ray Microscope AVB, A review manuscript on the X-ray Microscope by A.V. Baez (probably unpublished) 1955

box 3, folder 20  

X-Ray Mic. Reprints, various reprints about the x-Ray Microscopy

box 3, folder 21  

X-Ray Microscopy a Report, presented by A.V. Baez at the Cancer Conference 1957

box 3, folder 22  

Patent Disclosure, Patent request for an X-Ray Telescope, Report on the Erosion of plastic at Cornell 1949

box 3, folder 23  

ONR Report, by A.V.Baez, X-Ray Focusing by Diffraction, Annual Summary Report 1955-56

box 3, folder 24

Orbiting X-Ray Telescopes, Smithsonian Notes and Papers

box 3, folder 25

Baez X-Ray from Paul Kirpatrick, Correspondence and Notes 1990

box 3, folder 26

Holography Interferometry, Reprints and Pre-print

box 3, folder 27

Holography Advanced, Reprints and one Report

box 3, folder 28

Holography Advanced II, Reprints and one Pre-print

box 4, folder 1

S.P.I.E., Correspondence and Literature

box 4, folder 2

Schawlow, Reprints

box 4, folder 3

Optics Holography-Soroko/USSR, Correspondence

box 4, folder 4

Optics, Stroke, Reprints and Correspondence

box 4, folder 5

Optics Valasek, Notes

box 4, folder 6

Optics/Wolf, Correspondence and Reprints

box 4, folder 7

Optics Holography, Neural, Reprints

box 4, folder 8

Optics Woodruff, Correspondence

box 4, folder 9

Holography Acoustic, Reprints and Journal Issue

box 4, folder 10

Holography, Misc. Correspondence and Reprint

box 4, folder 11

Optics- Kastler, Correspondence and Reprints

box 4, folder 12

Optics Kock, Correspondence and Reprints

box 4, folder 13

Optics -Leith, Reprints and Pre-prints

box 4, folder 14

Optics-Microwaves, Reprints and Lab Experiment Instructions

box 4, folder 15

Optics –Mikulka Electrical Analog, Reprints

box 4, folder 16

Optics- MW Holography, Reprints

box 4, folder 17

Optics- Index Reprint, An index of the reprints in the area of Optics

box 4, folder 18

A- Quantum

box 4, folder 19

B- Space

box 4, folder 20


box 4, folder 21


box 4, folder 22


box 4, folder 23


box 4, folder 24


box 4, folder 25


box 4, folder 26


box 4, folder 27


box 4, folder 28

K-Binocular (3-D)

box 4, folder 29

L-Physics of

box 4, folder 30

M- Lenses

box 4, folder 31


box 4, folder 32


box 4, folder 33


box 4, folder 34


box 4, folder 35


box 4, folder 36


box 4, folder 37

S-fourier and Correlation

box 4, folder 38

T- Coherence

box 4, folder 39


box 4, folder 40

V-Information Theory

box 4, folder 41


box 4, folder 42


box 4, folder 43

Y-Polarized Light

box 4, folder 44

Z-zone Plates

box 5, folder 1

Zone plate

box 5, folder 2

Descriptive Geometry with 3-D Figures by Imre Pal

box 5, folder 3

Overheads for Holography Seminar

box 5

"Baez Video for viewing with Diffraction Grating"

Physical Description: 1 videotape(s) (vhs)
box 5, folder 4

Redlands hologram and reconstruction, 35mm slide (of gratings?)

box 5

lenses, loupe and magnifying glasses

box 5

Kiss-II, Mini KISS, Mini Train: Clear plastic sheets carefully wrapped in 3 tubes

box 5, folder 5

Fresnel lenses and holograms

box 5

Filters 1988

box 5, folder 6

Micro Mini Multiple Holograms

box 5, folder 7


box 5, folder 8

"Difraction Gradings" (sic)

box 5, folder 9

Apertures (Circular, Tip Split, Single Slit)

box 5, folder 10

Multiplex Co.

box 5, folder 11

Glass hologram

box 5, folder 12

YIP hologram

box 6

Mounted optical gratings

box 6

"Eastman Spectroscopic Plates"--zone plates and slides on x-ray telescope.

General note

these are lantern slides only, the only real gold zone plate is the one in Box 5 in its own mailing package
box 6

X-ray Conf 33055

box 6

X-ray zone plate

box 6

Optics – Gabor

box 6

Gabor (correspondence)

box 6

Rogers, Gordon Film, Information

box 6


box 6

Mounted gratings (contains many smaller envelopes)

box 6

e-mail correspondence with Sean Johnston (Scotland) on early holography expts.

box 6

"X-ray hand"

Physical Description: 1 film reel(s) (16mm)
box 6

Lantern slide zone plate

box 6

Correspondence with Dr. George Castro and joint papers; referee correspondence

box 6

A Guide to Holograph (draft)

box 6

Fisher; Konhious (?)--two wrapped lantern slides 1970-1971

box 6

loose papers

box 7, folder 1

X-ray optical Images (Copies #11, #38 & #41)

box 7, folder 2

A Study of Diffraction of Microscopy by Donald D. Robinson (Vols 1 & 2)

box 7, folder 3

EBF Misc Lasers Holography and Plans

box 7, folder 4

Holography: ideas for a course and a book plus experiments

box 7, folder 5

Holography Introductory

box 7, folder 6

Holography Jeong

box 7, folder 7

Holography Introduction

box 7, folder 8

Reference Materials

box 7, folder 9

Holography Proposal: Baez

box 7, folder 10

Holography: Firms, Resources, People

box 7, folder 11

Holography: Correspondence – A. Baez

box 7, folder 12

Films and Other Audio-Visual Aids

box 7, folder 13

Baez: Manual Holography

box 7, folder 14

Holography: Information Sheet Requests

box 7, folder 15

Holography Information Sheets Originals

box 7, folder 16

Zone Plates Holography X Rays

box 7, folder 17

Zone Plates

box 7, folder 18

Zone Plate Misc.

box 7, folder 19

Zone Plate Gust

box 7, folder 20

Zone Plate Paul

box 7, folder 21

Bottema/Zone Plates

box 7, folder 22


box 7, folder 23


box 7, folder 24


box 7, folder 25

Zone Plate – Reprint List

box 7, folder 26

Optics – Mollenstedt

box 7, folder 27

Holography – Bibliography

box 7, folder 28

Rogers, G.L

box 7, folder 29

Gabor, Notes

box 7, folder 30

Annual Meeting of the Advanced Light Source Users Association 1993 Oct 21-22

box 7, folder 31

Proceedings: Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing (San Diego) 1990

box 8, folder 1

Some loose papers, reports & correspondence

box 8, folder 2

Pioneering Photos 1947

box 8, folder 3

Large envelope: Lit. search S-Ray zone plate holography

box 8, folder 4

X-Ray Optics – Magnus

box 8, folder 5

X-Ray Conference (on X-Ray Astronomy at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge , Mass.) 1960 Sep 20

box 8, folder 6

Theses, Marc Montel 1958

box 8, folder 7

SPIE (Preconference) 1991

box 8, folder 8

SPIE July 21-26, 1991

box 8, folder 9

X-Ray misc SPIE 1995 Jul 12

box 8, folder 10

X-ray Research (Including April 1984 Physics Today issue with Underwood and Attwood article)

box 8, folder 11

X-rays (includes Early Reflections) 34892

box 8, folder 12

Holography Lecture O.U.

box 8, folder 13

Holography Book and Auto lectures

box 8, folder 14

Buckbee Mears Co.

box 8, folder 15

Henke + X-ray optics

box 8, folder 16

Holography Lecture

box 8, folder 17

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

box 8, folder 18

Research Winick Synchrotron – Wigglers

box 8, folder 19

Davis, Robt Celescope 1966

box 8, folder 20

G. L. Rogers 1956

box 8, folder 21

Holography Speech

box 8, folder 22


box 8, folder 23

Janos Kirz/A.V. Baez, X-Ray

box 8, folder 24

SPIE Paper 1546-38 (Ross borrowed) 1991

box 8, folder 25

Check list of facilities and Equipt.

box 8, folder 26

Holography Auto Lect. + Lecture

box 8, folder 27

AAAS Holography

box 8, folder 28

R-Hoover - X-rays 1990-1991

box 8, folder 29

Tyndall Lecture – Final Outline

box 8, folder 30


box 9, folder 1    

X-Ray Astronomy Reprints

box 9, folder 2    

Ultra-Violet Reprints

box 9, folder 3    

Astrophysical Project Description

box 9, folder 4    

Note for Holographic Activities at Lawrence Hall of Science

box 9, folder 5    

Holographic Manual from Metrologic Instruments

box 9, folder 6    

Color Diffraction – Notes and Lectures

box 9, folder 7    

Diffraction Microscopy – Notes

box 9, folder 8    

Diffraction Microscopy – Reprints

box 9, folder 9    

University of Redlands Research – Notes and Letters

box 9, folder 10  

American Cancer Society – Report of Research Accomplished

box 9, folder 11  

Copy of Letter to Nahum Joel, miscellaneous reprints on x-ray imaging

box 9, folder 12  

Ted (Edward) Fisher – student of Baez at the University of Redlands, Letters and Notebook

box 9, folder 13  

Thesis (Honors Project) of Edward Fisher

box 9, folder 14  

Research Reports of Baez's students (3) at the University of Redlands

box 9, folder 15  

Overhead foils for the talk on Holography, Technical requirements for Holography Demonstrations, Manufacturing Literature for Holography Photography

box 9, folder 16  

Special Issue Magazine with 3-D Photographs (with special eyeglasses)

box 9, folder 17  

Drafts and scripts for a slide and tape presentation on Holography

box 9, folder 18  

Reprints on Holography

box 9, folder 19  

Optics Experiments for Physics students at Harvard 1970


Additional Papers Accession ARCH-2016-132

Box 1, Folder 1

"I" 1974-06