Books et al.HISTORY OF PHYSICS

Cult of the machine

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Science  04 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6252, pp. 1062-1063
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac7351

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Summary

By any standard, Ernest Lawrence was a giant of American physics. At the center of Lawrence's world was the circular particle accelerator he invented, dubbed the "cyclotron." Around this initially humble creation, Lawrence built an empire of labor and of funding and a new way of doing physics. In his review of Big Science, Alex Wellerstein offers readers a glimpse into the life and career of the controversial physicist-- from his seemingly remorseless exploitation of cheap graduate student labor to his zealous support for the atomic bomb.