Tollestrup, Alvin Virgil (Physicist)
- Existence: 1924 - 2222
Background: Caltech Professor of Physics, 1953-1977; Research Fellow, 1950-1953; Caltech alumnus (PhD 1950).
Description: Born in Los Angeles, Alvin V. Tollestrup received his undergraduate education at the University of Utah (BS 1944). After specialized training and work in radar during WWII, he entered Caltech as a graduate student in 1946, where he studied under William A. Fowler and C. C. Lauritsen. Following the awarding of his PhD in physics in 1950, he was assigned to the team that was building the Caltech synchrotron. He continued his work in the field of accelerators and high energy physics, taking an NSF-funded year at CERN (Geneva) devoted to measurements of electron decay mode of a charged pion. He returned to Caltech, but in 1975 took a sabbatical to Fermilab; by 1977 he decided to remain at Fermi, where he assisted in the construction of the Tevatron accelerator.
Collection Notes: Oral history, 1994: This 49-page interview with David A. Valone covers Tollestrup's early life, education, and career as an experimental physicist. It includes reminiscences of Caltech's physics division and professors, including R. A. Millikan, W. Smythe, W. A. Fowler, C. C. Lauritsen, M. Gell-Mann and R. Feynman; also the synchrotron team of R. Langmuir, M. Sands, R. Walker and B. Rule.