Today the Novak Archive is releasing the FBI file of German-American physicist Wolfgang Panofsky (1919-2007).
Panofsky received his PhD in physics from CalTech in 1942, just as the United States was about to enter World War II, and was recruited to work on the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb. The Atomic Heritage Foundation notes that Panofsky was Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center from 1961 until 1984. He also served on the prestigious and sometimes secretive Jason advisory group of American scientists which was at the time overseen by the Pentagon.
Panofsky testified to Congress in 1969 against President Richard Nixon’s plan for an anti-ABM missile system and opposed President Ronald Reagan’s so-called Star Wars program of missile defense, arguing that it would make America less safe by simply accelerating the arms race rather than achieve its stated objective of making nuclear weapons obsolete.
The FBI file of Panofsky, whose full name was Wolfgang Kurt Hermann Panofsky but was known by the nickname “Pief,” is 360 pages long and includes background checks and character assessments that you would expect for someone in such a sensitive and high-ranking position.Read More