Being a graduate student for Stanley (88-92) was a great honor and an immense intellectual experience. Through his direction I acquired many insights into physics and understood the many levels of depth at which a problem could be understood. Stanley is a gentleman and a scholar. I am grateful for the time he has given me.
In May of 1958 I (a recently appointed physics professor at UCB) was attending an APS meeting in Washington, D.C. when I noticed in the program a 10-min talk to be given by someone named Stanley Mandelstam--unknown to me. The subject was one on which I had been working--the extension to momentum transfer of energy dispersion relations. I had encountered difficulties that had blocked me and which I felt sure were beyond the capacity of the unknown theorist. I attended the talk expecting to point out problems of which the ingenue was unaware.
The talk was to me incomprehensible, so I said nothing in public but cornered the speaker afterward and sat with him for two hours on a sofa in the Shoreham Hotel lobby while the unknown attempted to explain to me what he had done. At the end I still didn't understand Mandelstam's reasoning but felt absolutely sure he had solved the problem.
Stanley told me he was a postdoc at Columbia where nobody was interested in what he was doing. I asked if he would move to Berkeley and he instantly agreed. I went to a lobby phone, called Bob Karplus who was administering a theoretical physics Federal contract in Berkeley, and Stanley was brought on board.
Despite huge subsequent interest in double dispersion relations, including efforts by many mathematical physicists to establish or disprove their validity, and their role as a stimulant of both analytic S-matrix theory (via Landau) and of string theory (via Veneziano), Stanley tells me that no proof or disproof has ever occurred.