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http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/23 10:18  英语沙龙

  My parents, Auke Bloembergen and Sophia Maria Quint, had four sons and two daughters. I am the second child, born on March 11, 1920, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. My father, a chemical engineer, was an executive in a chemical fertilizer company. My mother, who had an advanced degree to teach French, devoted all her energies to rearing a large family.

  Before I entered grade school1, the family moved to Bilthoven, a residential suburb of Utrecht. We were brought up in the Protestant work ethic2. At the age of twelve I entered the municipal3 gymnasium4 in Utrecht, founded as a Latin school in 1474. Nearly all the teachers held Ph.D. degrees. The rigid curriculum emphasized the humanities: Latin, Greek, French, German, English, Dutch, history and mathematics. My preference for science became evident only in the last years of secondary school, where the basics of physics and chemistry were well taught. The choice of physics was probably based on the fact that I found it the most difficult and challenging subject, and I still do to this day. My maternal5 grandfather was a high school principal with a Ph.D. in mathematical physics. So there may be some hereditary6 factor as well. I am ever more intrigued by the correspondence between mathematics and physical facts. The adaptability of mathematics to the description of physical phenomena is uncanny1.

  Professor L. S. Ornstein taught the undergraduate physics course when I entered the University of Utrecht in 1938. He permitted me and my partner in the undergraduate lab, J. C. Kluyver to skip some lab routines and instead assist a graduate student, G. A. W. Rutgers, in a Ph.D. research project.

  After the German occupation of Holland in May 1940, the Hitler regime removed Ornstein from the university in 1941. I made the best possible use of the continental academic system, which relied heavily on independent studies.Just before the Nazis closed the university completely in 1943, I managed to obtain the degree of Phil. Drs., equivalent to a M.Sc. degree.

  I had always harbored2 plans to do some research for a Ph.D. thesis outside the Netherlands, to broaden my perspective. After the devastation of Europe, the only suitable place in 1945 appeared to be the United States. Three applications netted3 an acceptance in the graduate school at Harvard University. My father financed the trip and the Dutch government obliged4 by issuing a valuta5 permit for the purchase of US$ 1,850. As my good fortune would have it, my arrival at Harvard occurred six weeks after Purcell, Torrey and Pound had detected nuclear magnetic resonance6 (NMR) in condensed7 matter. Since they were busy writing volumes for the M.I.T. Radiation Laboratory series on microwave techniques, I was accepted as a graduate assistant to develop the early NMR apparatus8. My thorough Dutch educational background enabled me to quickly profit from lectures by professors there.

  During a vacation trip of a Physics Club I met Deli in the summer of 1948. She had spent the war years in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia, where she was born. She was about to start her premed9 studies. When I returned to Harvard in 1949, she managed to get on a student hospitality exchange program and traveled after me to the United States on an immigrant ship. I proposed to her the day she arrived and we got married in Amsterdam in 1950. Ever since, she has been a source of light in my life. Her enduring encouragement has contributed immensely to the successes in my further career. After the difficult years as an immigrant wife, raising three children on the modest income, she has found the time and energy to develop her considerable talents as a pianist and artist. We became U.S. citizens in 1958.

  Our children are now independent. The older daughter, Antonia, holds M.A. degrees in political science and demography1, and works in the Boston area. Our son, Brink, has an M.B.A. degree and is an industrial planner in Oregon. Our younger daughter, Juliana, envisages2 a career in the financial world. She has interrupted her banking job to obtain an M.B.A. in Philadelphia.

  by Nicolaas Bloembergen 廖红 译




  在我1938年进入乌得勒支大学上学时,L. S.奥恩斯泰因教授教大学本科物理课。他允许我和我的本科生实验室同伴J. C.克勒伊弗跳过一些常规的实验内容,帮助研究生G. A. W.吕特赫斯搞博士研究课题。






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