Finding aid (PDF)
Robert E. Behringer was born on May 18, 1931, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1953 and his Ph.D. in theoretical solid state physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1958.
Behringer’s first job involved work on magnetic memory at IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York, which was followed by a position with the physics department at San Fernando Valley State College (now the California State University at Northridge). Behringer spent the bulk of his career, however, with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Pasadena, California. While working for ONR Behringer performed duties to support basic and applied research with a primary focus on lasers and optics. For his effort, Behringer was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civil Service Award. Following retirement from ONR in 1988, Behringer worked as a consultant for ONR under the Ballena Systems Corporation.
Robert E. Behringer passed away on August 22, 2016.
Scope and Content Note
The notebooks in this collection document the daily activities of Robert E. Behringer’s career by way of detailed notes regarding his telephone conversations. Behringer’s workload revolved heavily around the management of contracted research projects with regard to the culmination of project needs, funding, contractors and the success of each mission. The projects involved joint work with the Army, Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Central Intelligence Agency and TRW.
These research missions primarily involved various types of lasers to include excimer lasers and free electron lasers. Experiments revolved around the blue-green laser system among many others. As the 1980s progressed many contract actions included computer programs and research interests shared focus with the effects of radioactivity on DNA and RNA.
Ramifications of the Whittier Narrows Earthquake of 1 OCT 1988 are also outlined.
A supplemental set of notebooks for the years 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 include various personnel issues such as conflict between staff members and violations of work rules.
This collection should be cited as Papers of Robert E. Behringer, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.