August 8 - Happy Birthday, Ernest Lawrence

   Posted on August 8, 2022     

This is an update of my post published on August 8, 2011:

Ernest Lawrence was born in South Dakota on this day in 1901. But his long career as a physicist occurred at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lawrence invented the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator and atom smasher, in 1929. 

His first model only cost around $25 in materials, could be held in one hand—and it worked! That small model accelerated protons to a remarkable 1% of the speed of light! (Remember that today's particle accelerators and atom smashers, such as the Large Hadron Collider, cost billions of dollars and are many miles wide! Of course, such huge machines achieve far great speeds and smashing-power than that first model!)

The Large Hadron Collider can accelerate particles
quite close to the speed of light - so fast a particle
could whizz around the Earths equator seven and a
 half times in just one second!

Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science is named for Lawrence, as is the chemical element lawrencium. Lawrence won the Nobel Prize in 1939.

Above and below - the Lawrence Hall of Science
has wonderful things to see and do to explore
various fields of science. 

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