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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 10 (Feb. 15, 1955)

Wisconsin men active in atomic research plan,   p. 17


Page 17


Wisconsin Men Active
     In Atomic Research Plan
  A cooperative assault on the "major
land of the unknown in physics" by Wis-
consin and seven other midwestern uni-
versities is described in the report of the
Midwestern Universities Research Asso-
ciation (MURA).
  The association was organized in 1953
to explore the possibility that large mid-
western schools could combine forces to
obtain a laboratory for research into
high-energy physics.
  One of the men active in organizing
MURA was Prof. Ragnar Rollefson,
professor of physics at Wisconsin who
is now on leave for work on a presiden-
tial advisory committee in Washington.
He recently received a special citation
from Gen. Nathan F. Twining, chief of
staff of the U. S. Air Force for his
work in the national defense and
NATO.
  At the present time, financial support
  for the MURA study group comes chiefly
  from the National Science Foundation.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foun-
dation (WARF) has provided $10,000
to support Wisconsin's share of working
capital in the cooperative effort.
  MURA members are now studying
  three major problems:
  * The designing of a new type of high-
  energy accelerator for the production of
  atomic particles for experimentation and
  bombardment;
  0 The best site for the laboratory (Wis-
  consin has been mentioned as a possibil-
  ity);
  * Fund-raising for eventual construction
  of the high-energy machine.
  Ten members of the association's ma-
  chine-design group worked eight weeks
  at the University of Wisconsin this past
  summer. From this group came the first
  ideas for a generator design that holds
  promise of being superior to any yet
  constructed or in the process of con-
  struction, "according to physics Prof.
  Richards, a UW representative on the
  MURA board.
  (The machine-design group is under
  the chairmanship of Prof. W. D. Kerst,
  a Wisoni grdut no       w  Ith the Uni
ariscons in graduate now wis the in-
versity of Illinois. Prof. Kerst is the in-
FEBRUARY, 1955
ventor of the Betatron, the machine
manufactured by the Allis Chalmers
Mfg. Co., Milwaukee, now used to ac-
celerate electrons to very high energies.
The idea for the new FFAG accelerator
was conceived by Keith Symon, formerly
of Wayne University who recently joined
the Wisconsin staff. Two former Wis-
consin scientists, Prof. J. L. Powell and
R. S. Wright, were responsible for the
development of computational methods
which were vital in designing the new
machine.)
   Unlike  old-style cosmotrons  which
provide a burst of particles every five
seconds, the FFAG (fixed field-alter-
nating current) accelerator allows very
high repetition rates, perhaps as many as
a hundred a second, thereby increasing
the total number of high-energy particles
produced in a given length of time. In
simplicity of construction and operation
as well as beam output, the FFAG
accelerator should be superior to other
machines, Prof. Richards believes.
   With these improvements in design,
research into the nature and workings of
the tiniest known constituents of matter
would be aided enormously, Prof.
Richards pointed out.
   The MURA report adds that:
   "During the past decade the frontier
of physics has moved into a new area,
where experiments are performed not on
the atomic nuclei as a whole but on the
individual constituent particles of which
they are composed, and on particles
which are created through high-energy
collisions of subnuclear particles.
   "This new field, which has come to
 be called high-energy physics, is, and
 surely will continue to be for a long time
 to come, the major land of the unknown
 in physics."
     Planned Med School Addition
     Above, you see an artist's sketch of the $1,400,000 addition to Service
Memorial
Institutes which will provide new quarters for the anatomy department and
other
facilities for the Medical School. Plans were approved by the Regents in
January.
     The building, to face Linden Drive at Charter Street on the Wisconsin
campus,
will be financed by an appropriation made in 1953 by the State Building Commission.
     The portion to be constructed at this time is about half of an over-all
plan for
expansion of Medical School facilities.
     To be built of cream-colored brick in harmony with other buildings in
the UW
medical center, the six-story structure will have four floors and part of
its basement
devoted to work of the anatomy department which now is housed in Science
Hall.
     A new student laboratory for the department of physiological chemistry
will be
located on the fifth floor, and the sixth floor will provide much-needed
space for
animal housing. The basement will include a locker room for students and
make
possible the clearing of corridors in the Service Memorial Institutes which
now are
lined with lockers.
     Next step: the state engineer must approve the plans and specifications.
   17


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