Scope and Contents
Call Number: SC1167
Stanford University. Department of Physics.
Title: Stanford University, Dept. of Physics, oral exam questions
0.25 Linear feet (1 volume)
Summary: 1 bound volume of handwritten physics oral exam questions.
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Gift of Perry Wilson, 2009.
Information about Access
The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted
to a digital use copy.
Ownership & Copyright
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission
from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research
and educational purposes.
[identification of item], Stanford University, Dept. of Physics, oral exam questions (SC1167). Dept. of Special Collections
and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Scope and Contents
Referred to as the “Black Book” or “Doomsday Book,” the materials consist of a bound volume of handwritten notes by various
Stanford Physics Ph.D. students from 1947-1958. Immediately after completing their oral exams, graduate students would detail
their exam questions and experiences (excluding the answers) in the notebook. The volume was passed along to serve as a study
guide to other students preparing for their own oral exams who would in turn record their wisdom in the “Doomsday Book.”
The first entry was created by Emory H. Rogers on October 20, 1947, and according to Perry B. Wilson (Professor Emeritus,
SLAC, and Ph.D. Physics 1958), Rogers may be the one who wrote “Doomsday Book” in the notebook’s inside cover. On December
5, 1958, BJ Bjorken wrote the final entry on the book’s last page. Approximately 100 students wrote in the book, and there
are about 300 pages in the volume.
Wilson, Perry B.
Physics--Study and teaching.
Universities and colleges--Alumni
Universities and colleges--Faculty.