20
Waiting (1951-1954)

Grant Cooper was not pleased. Convinced of Tsien's innocence, he was determined to fight the deportation order through appeal. An oral hearing was scheduled on September 17, 1951, in Washington, at which Cooper planned to argue his case. As Caltech officials mustered their forces, all Tsien could do was wait.

Tsien now had a sharply circumscribed life. He was cut off, of course, from all classified work. This created complications for some of the engineers at JPL who wished to discuss with Tsien certain concepts mentioned in one of his papers. Thomas Adamson, then one of Tsien's students and a coauthor with Tsien of the paper, "Automatic Navigation of a Long Range Rocket Vehicle," recalls that he had to field some general questions himself because the JPL engineers were not allowed to talk with Tsien. Likewise, Tsien refused to talk to Adamson about any aspect of JPL work on the Corporal or Sergeant missiles for fearing of getting Adamson in trouble. "He thought it was best just to divorce himself completely from it," Adamson remembered.

But that was not all. Tsien was also forbidden to travel outside the boundaries of Los Angeles, which barred him from attending numerous scientific conferences or even from going to the beach in Orange County. Once a month, he

-172-

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Thread of the Silkworm
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Hangzhou (1911-1914) 1
  • 2 - Beijing (1914-1929) 8
  • 3 - Shanghai (1929-1934) 22
  • 4 - Boxer Rebellion Scholar (1934-1935) 35
  • 5 - Mit (1935-1936) 40
  • 6 - Theodore Von Kármán 47
  • 7 - Caltech (1936) 61
  • 8 - The Suicide Squad (1937-1943) 68
  • 9 - The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1943-1945) 93
  • 10 - Washington and Germany (1945) 110
  • 11 - Return to Mit (1946-1947) 121
  • 12 - Summons from China (1947) 132
  • 13 - Jiang Ying 136
  • 14 - Ascent (1947-1948 140
  • 15 - Caltech (1949) 144
  • 16 - Suspicion (1950) 149
  • 17 - Arrest (1950) 158
  • 18 - Investigation (1950) 163
  • 19 - Hearings (1950-1951) 167
  • 20 - Waiting (1951-1954) 172
  • 21 - The Wang-Johnson Talks (1955) 184
  • 22 - "One of the Tragedies of This Century" 191
  • 23 - A Hero's Welcome (1955) 199
  • 24 - Missiles of the East Wind 208
  • 25 - Becoming a Communist 231
  • Epilogue 261
  • Notes 265
  • Index 319
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