5 April 1963
Professor G. N. Volkoff, Head Physics
Department University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Dr. Richard La Force has asked me to write a letter of recommendation to you for him.
I have known La Force since he was a first-year college student in my course in general chemistry. He was the outstanding man of the 180 students in the course. He had already obtained a pretty good background of understanding of physics, and he spent part of his time that year building a crude field-emission electron microscope. I saw him a number of times while he was a graduate student in Berkeley, and then, about three years ago, I appointed him Consultant to our research project on the molecular basis of general anesthesia. He collaborated very effectively with Dr. Frank Catchpool in the construction of an apparatus for measurement of the heat capacities of substances, and in general was effective in giving Dr. Catchpool advice about experimental work in this field.
During the past winter he continued to work as Consultant to me, in connection with my research activities, over a period of four months (full time).
La Force seems to me to have unusual ability and to have a fine background of training in physics. I have not made a careful check of his ability in the magnetic resonance field, perhaps mainly because I myself do not have any background of experience in this field. It is my feeling, however, that he would be a very valuable collaborator for anyone who was working in this field.
I judge that he is cooperative and that he gets along well with his coworkers. Dr. Frank Catchpool, who has had some association with him for three years, considers him to be a fine research associate. Professor Ralph Hultgren and Professor Fred Ravitz of the University of California, with whom he has worked for some time, have both written and spoken to me enthusiastically about his abilities, his originality, and his enthusiasm for research. They said that he was especially effective in getting students to work hard on research problems. Both Hultgren and Ravitz are old friends of mine — they both obtained their Ph.D. degrees in the California Institute of Technology, and Hultgren did his work under my direction.
I have not had any opportunity to make an estimate of La Force as a teacher. I surmise that he would he good.
I think that you would find La Force a very valuable collaborator in your work.