Wednesday, October 05, 2011

"Vision to reality: From Robert R. Wilson's frontier to Leon M. Lederman's Fermilab"

Now that the Tevatron has become part of our history, it is an appropriate time to look back at the history of Fermilab, and how it became what it is (was?). This article does that by examining the era under two different Fermilab administrations, that of Robert Wilson, and subsequently that of Leon Lederman.

Abstract: This paper examines the roles of vision and leadership in creating and directing Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory from the late 1960s through the 1980s. The story divides into two administrations having different problems and accomplishments, that of Robert R. Wilson (1967-1978), which saw the transformation from cornfield to frontier physics facility, and that of Leon Max Lederman (1979-1989), in which the laboratory evolved into one of the world's major high-energy facilities. Lederman's pragmatic vision of a user-based experimental community helped him to convert the pioneering facility that Wilson had built frugally into a laboratory with a stable scientific, cultural, and funding environment.  

Ref: Phys.Perspect. 5 (2004) 67-86.


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