The cyclotron laboratory at MSU has been known for years as the best university nuclear physics laboratory in the United States, and perhaps in the world. But very few, even in its hometown of East Lansing, know how it achieved that status or why it prospered when laboratories at many other famous universities faded.
In this book Austin, a nuclear physicist who has been at the laboratory since the beginning of its ascent, gives us a remarkable story. It begins with an exceptional individual, Henry Blosser, who founded the laboratory, built a cyclotron accelerator of uniquely high precision, and recruited a team of nuclear physicists that used it to establish the laboratory’s reputation. Its credibility led to a sequence of accelerators, each operating in a different sub?eld while continuing a tradition of forefront science, and to a laboratory culture that fostered the courage and foresight to compete for the FRIB in the face of daunting odds.
“Sam Austin’s account is inspiring and humbling to all who are privileged to play a role in the laboratory that has managed to remain at the forefront of nuclear science for half a century.”
—Thomas Glasmacher, FRIB Laboratory Director
“Professor Austin guides us through the challenges and the triumphs of difficult tasks ultimately well done, from which we can draw lessons and take heart. He shows us the power of building strong programs through supporting extraordinary people and how generating aggregations of creative intellects can advance our understanding of complex problems.”
—Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University