Peter Lindenfeld was born in 1925 in Vienna, Austria. He grew up in Vienna in a Jewish household. After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Lindenfeld and his mother escaped Austria via Switzerland and England, before eventually settling in British Columbia. His father reunited with the family in 1942.

Lindenfeld went to high school in Vancouver and then attended college at the University of British Columbia, where he earned his B.S. and M.S. He received his Ph.D. in physics at Columbia University in 1954.

Lindenfeld came to Rutgers University in 1953 as an instructor and spent the duration of his career as a member of the physics faculty, retiring in 1999. In the mid-1960s, Lindenfeld participated in the planning committee for Livingston College, which opened in 1969 under the direction of Dean Ernest Lynton, who was a physics professor. In the interview, Lindenfeld discusses the founding principles of Livingston College and the early years of the college. He was active in the AAUP in the Executive Council and in the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Lindenfeld won the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence, given by Rutgers University, and the Robert A Millikan Medal, awarded by the American Association of Physics Teachers.