Cyclotrons

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Kevin Lesko, Senior Physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and former Spokesperson for LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), an international collaboration searching for dark matter. Lesko explains why so many different kinds of physicists are involved in dark matter searches and how theorists have provided guidance for experimental and observational work to understand dark matter. He recounts his upbringing in northern California, the scientific influence of his parents and older siblings, and his decision to attend Stanford, where he worked on a tandem Van De Graaff in the nuclear physics lab. Lesko discusses his graduate work at the University of Washington, where he worked under the direction of Bob Vandenbosch on nuclear fission research, and he describes his postdoctoral appointment at Argonne, where he pursued experiments in nuclear fusion and neutrino physics. He explains his decision to join the staff at Berkeley Lab and how his interests centered increasingly on astrophysics with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Lesko discusses his collaborations in Japan and KamLAND’s discovery of the absolute measurement of neutrino oscillations and the origins of the Homestake collaboration. He describes the transition of support for Homestake from the NSF to the DOE and he explains his entrée to the LUX collaboration and the reasons for the merger with ZEPLIN. Lesko explains how LZ needs to be ready to detect dark matter either as a singularity or is comprised of multiple components, and he considers what it might look like for dark matter to be detected. He recounts LZ’s success in ruling out dark matter candidates and he reflects on LBNL serving as a home base while his collaborative research has always been far-flung. At the end of the interview, Lesko considers what we have learned about the universe as a result of LZ, and why mystery and curiosity will continue to drive the field forward.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, Lee Pondrom, Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, recounts his childhood in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston and describes his early interest in science. He explains his motivations to attend Southern Methodist University, where he pursued a degree in physics. Pondrom discusses his graduate work at the University of Chicago where the long-range influence of the Manhattan Project remained strong, even in the early and mid-1950s. He describes his summer research work at Los Alamos, and his thesis research on cyclotrons and pi mesons under the direction of Albert Crewe and Uli Kruse. Pondrom conveys the feeling of excitement at the discovery of parity violation while he was a graduate student, his postdoctoral work on the Nevis cyclotron while at Columbia, and he describes his Air Force service after he defended his dissertation. He describes the opportunities leading to his tenure at the University of Wisconsin and a research agenda that included long-term projects at the Chicago cyclotron, and at Fermilab and at Argonne. Pondrom discusses his contributions to CP violation, hyperon decay and how computers have been useful over the course of the career. He describes the origins of Fermilab and his experiences at Madison during the student unrest during the late 1960s, where bombers targeted science buildings. Pondrom discusses the significance of the E8 experiment as an extension of the Garwin-Lederman experiment and the origins of the Tevatron project. He explains the ups and downs of U.S. high energy physics during the SSC years and he surmises what would be known now in particle physics had the SSC been completed. At the end of the interview, Pondrom describes his extensive collaborations in Russia and his study of Soviet-era physics, including his work on Stalin’s nuclear diplomacy.

Interviewed by
Dan Ford
Interview date
Location
La Jolla, California
Abstract

In this interview Richard Garwin discusses topics such as: his parents, growing up in Cleveland, education, Case Institute of Technology (Case Western Reserve University), Leon Lederman, muons, cyclotron,  University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi, nuclear reactors, coincidence circuits.This interview is part of a collection of interviews on the life and work of Richard Garwin. To see all associated interviews, click here.

Interviewed by
Philip Kao
Interview date
Location
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
Abstract

In this interview, Dr. Aaron Galonsky, Professor of Physics Emeritus, describes his early days working with the Midwestern Universities Research Association (MURA) and experimental nuclear physics. He describes the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) during the 1960s and gives details regarding the K-500 and K-1200 cyclotrons.

Interviewed by
Philip Kao
Interview date
Location
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
Abstract

In this interview Dr. Sam Austin, University Distinguished Professor of Physics (Emeritus), offers insight into the history of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and the early days of research in the lab, starting in 1965 with the K50. He discusses some of what it takes to run a success national research laboratory.

Interviewed by
Philip Kao
Interview date
Location
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
Abstract

In this interview Dr. Raman Anantaraman, senior physicist and former assistant director of user relations, explains how he ended studying physics, charting his career from India to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). He gives an account of the development of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC), and how users contributed to the mission of the lab.

Interviewed by
Philip Y. Kao
Interview date
Location
Gordon's residence
Abstract

Dr. Morton Gordon, Professor Emeritus, talks about how he first arrived at Michigan State University Physics Department in 1959 and describes the various building construction projects that occurred during the early period leading up to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). He comments on the political and economic climate of the 1960s and how this affected science funding and initiatives.

Interviewed by
Bruce Wheaton
Interview date
Location
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Abstract

Family background, early education, and science-technology interests in California and Oregon; Willamette College and radio electronics; contacts with E.O. Lawrence; career as graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, 1942-1949; war work at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory and Los Alamos; security; attitudes toward Trinity test and Hiroshima; postwar political involvement; big machines and general comments on postwar physics.

Interviewed by
Charles Weiner and Barry Richman
Interview date
Location
Segrè's home, Lafayette, California
Abstract

Founding of the school of physics, Università di Roma, role of Orso Mario Corbino and others in recruiting young physicists; the decision to work on nuclear physics; financial support for and public knowledge of work at the university; contacts with other laboratories in Europe and the U.S.; available technology in Rome, ca. 1930; journal literature; visitors to Rome; circumstances of move to Università di Palermo, 1936; work and facilities in Palermo; early failures of physicists to recognize fission; early uses of cyclotron; mathematics and nuclear physics in 1930s; models of the nucleus and experimental work; circumstances of move to University of California at Berkeley, 1938; experiment and theory in nuclear physics at Berkeley; work on radiochemistry; alteration of half-lives of beta-radioactive substances; detection equipment; effect of work at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory on nuclear physics; significance of nucleon-nucleon scattering experiments; entry into nuclear physics of students trained in technology during World War II; beginnings of high-energy physics; experimental physics and particle accelerators; fashions in physics; discovery of the antiproton; work considered personally satisfying. Also prominently mentioned are: Edoardo Amaldi, Felix Bloch, Niels Henrik David Bohr, Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, Michael Faraday, Otto Robert Frisch, Guglielmo, Georg von Hevesy, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Tullio Levi-Cività, Lo Surdo, Ettore Majorana, Lise Meitner, Ida Noddack, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Carlo Perrier, Franco D. Rasetti, Ernest Rutherford, Glenn Seaborg, Elfriede Segrè, V. Volterra, Chien-Shiung Wu, Hideki Yukawa; Columbia University, and Purdue University.

Interviewed by
Lillian Hoddeson
Interview date
Location
FermiLab
Abstract

In this interview Norman Ramsey discusses topics such as: his childhood and family background; I. I. Rabi; Bergen Davis; Columbia University; P. A. M. Dirac; Cambridge University; molecular beams; Harold Urey; Enrico Fermi; Herb Anderson; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Radiation Laboratory; Jerrold Zacharias; Ernest Lawrence; Carnegie Institution; Jim Van Allen; Ed Salant; Merle Tuve; cyclotrons; high energy accelerators; University of Illinois; Maurice Goldhaber; radar research; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab); Brookhaven National Laboratory; Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI); Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); high energy physics; Stan Livingston; alternate radiant principle; Argonne National Laboratory; President's Science Advisory Committee; Jerry Weisner; Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC); John F. Kennedy; Ed McMillan; Frederick Seitz; Phil Abelson; T. D. Lee; Owen Chamberlain; Murray Gell-Mann; Ed Purcell; Edwin Goldwasser; Cambridge Electron Accelerator.