In particular, I established a reasonably accurate energy threshold for permanent displacement of a nucleus from its regular lattice position, substantially smaller than had been previously presumed.
— Walter Kohn
During one or two summers, as well as part-time during the school year, I worked for a small Canadian company which developed electrical instruments for military planes.
I have just joined the Board of the Population Institute because I am convinced that early stabilization of the world's population is important for the attainment of this objective.
My father, who had lost a brother, fighting on the Austrian side in World War I, was a committed pacifist.
My project was radiation damage of Si and Ge by energetic electrons, critical for the use of the recently developed semiconductor devices for applications in outer space.
I was fortunate to find an extraordinary mathematics and applied mathematics program in Toronto.
My commitment to a humane and peaceful world continues to this day.
On another level, I want to mention that I have a strong Jewish identity and - over the years - have been involved in several Jewish projects, such as the establishment of a strong program of Judaic Studies at the University of California in San Diego.
Originally I had planned to revert to nuclear physics there, in particular the structure of the deuteron.
I was born in 1923 into a middle class Jewish family in Vienna, a few years after the end of World War I, which was disastrous from the Austrian point of view.
However, while the Nazi barbarians and their collaborators threatened the entire world, I could not accept his philosophy and, after several earlier attempts, was finally accepted into the Canadian Infantry Corps during the last year of World War II.