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Steel Shots: Lawrence Encourages His Team
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM.


Ernest Orlando Lawrence (standing, back to camera), was considered the father of “Team Science” and a consummate leader of cross-disciplinary scientific projects. Here he addresses colleagues in a late 1930s photo near the 184-in. cyclotron construction site. Photo: Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab.


The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is one of 17 U.S. Department of Energy national labs. Today its more than 4,200 employees carry on research in world-class facilities constructed over the last eight decades on the 200-acre campus.


“Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.” (From


Lawrence’s cyclotron started small, but then grew to an 11-in. diameter, then 27-in., and they continued to get larger as scientists tried to reach higher energy levels. The lab’s 184-in. cyclotron was housed in the round building in the photo, shown as the steel framing was being erected. To learn more about the development of the cyclotron, click here. (At the end of that page is a 1941 photo of the completed building.)

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