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Chicagophile


LETTERS
"Remembrance of synch's past"


My eye was caught by your remembrance of the synchrocyclotron project ("From Our Pages," April/01). I designed the Ion Source for it under the supervision of Dr. Anderson and John and Leona Marshall. I still have the blueprint after all these years!

Your photo shows the trapezoidal beams cast in concrete, 40 feet in length and 8 feet in cross section, filled with steel nuts and bolts to prevent radiation. Somewhat like an Egyptian tomb. Alas, it didn't work; it leaked and our poem was: Ashes to ashes/Dust to dust/If our neutrons don't get you/Our gamma rays must.

It was an exciting project and an exciting time. I remember Enrico Fermi coming to work on the most beat-up bicycle I have ever seen, brown-bagging his lunch, and Dr. Anderson with a portable oxygen tank (he had drilled a hole in a piece of beryllium during the Manhattan project, inhaled once, and ever since required cortisone shots). It was hard work but a lot of fun!

Robert Lesser, AB'50, AM'53
New York City



  JUNE 2001

  > > Volume 93, Number 5


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Children's Crusader
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Life begins at 33.8
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Picture this


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