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Transcript of interview with Dr. Lonnie D. Spight by Dr. David Emerson, May 8, 2007


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Dr. Lonnie D. Spight grew up in northern Colorado, earned his bachelor's degree at Colorado State University, and his PhD at University of Nevada Reno. His interest in astronomy dates from his early years on the farm in Colorado, star-gazing in the fields at night. Before coming to UNLV, Lonnie worked for the Department of Defense on scattering cross sections and explosions. Working between Los Alamos and the Test Site, he was often in Las Vegas and had met most of the physicists at the university. He was invited midterm to take over a physics class for a faculty member who had fallen ill, and was offered a job the following fall of 1970. In the seventies when Dr. Spight arrived, the physics department was located in trailers, and the university campus was mostly desert. Lonnie served as chair of the department on several occasions, and was responsible for insisting that faculty members get involved in research, no matter how tight the budget. He worked on solar energy and far-field microwave analysis, and helped set up safety standards for the new laser technology. One of Dr. Spight's interests outside of physics is a love for classical music. He was a volunteer "Deejay" for 12 years with KNPR once it got started in 1980. Meanwhile, after 37 years with UNLV Lonnie retains his enthusiasm and love for teaching. Today he teaches quantum mechanics and hopes that one day he will be able to teach a particle physics course which ties together cosmology, the beginning of the universe, fundamental cutting edge physics, quarks, gluon plasmas, and more. He has the course materials ready to go and is looking forward to many more years at UNLV.

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Dr. Lonnie D. Spight oral history interview, 2007 May 08. OH-01747. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Dr. Lonnie D. Spight An Oral History Conducted by Dr. David Emerson The UNLV @ Fifty Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas 2007 ©UNLV@ FIFTY Oral History Pro