DOE Photo of the Week Shows E.O. Lawrence’s Children With 60-Inch Cyclotron

January 30, 2013

In this 1939 photo, Eric and Margaret Lawrence are sitting inside the tank of something called the 60-inch cyclotron — a machine invented by their father, Ernest Lawrence. The cyclotron is a unique circular particle accelerator, which Lawrence himself referred to as a “proton merry-go-round.” In reality, the cyclotron specialized in smashing atoms. This cyclotron contained a magnet that weighed 220 tons, and experiments conducted on this very machine led to the discovery of plutonium and Nobel Prizes for researchers Glenn Seaborg and Melvin Calvin.

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3 Responses to “DOE Photo of the Week Shows E.O. Lawrence’s Children With 60-Inch Cyclotron”

  1. Doug Taube says:

    I think you might have a couple of fact wrong on your write-up of the 60 inch cylcotron. First Gelnn Seaborg and ED MCMILLAN won the Nobel Prize with this. Also, I read in the 75th year history of LBL that everything associated with the 60 in cyclotron weighted 80 tons. Therefore, the magnets could not have weighted 220 tons.

  2. Massimo Placidi says:

    Whow…I was ONE year old…E.O.Lawrence was a Genius!

  3. Lyn says:

    Lynn Yarris, the Lab’s senior science writer confirmed that the magnet was 220 tons, and that Melvin Calvin did do work on the 60-inch cyclotron that led to his Nobel prize. Ed McMillan should have been added to the list of researchers.

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