Physics in Perspective

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 357–378

E-36: The First Proto-Megascience Experiment at NAL



E-36, an experiment on small-angle proton-proton scattering, began testing equipment at the National Accelerator Laboratory (NAL) using a newly achieved 100 GeV proton beam on February 12, 1972, marking the beginning of NAL’s experimental program. This experiment, which drew collaborators from NAL, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna, USSR), the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York), and Rockefeller University (New York, New York) was significant not only as a milestone in Fermilab’s history but also as a model of cooperation between the East and West at a time when Cold War tensions still ran high. An examination of the origin, operation, and resolution of E-36 and the chain of experiments it spawned reveals the complex interplay of science and politics that drove these experiments as well as seeds of the megascience paradigm that has come to dominate high energy physics research since the 1970s.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fermi National Accelerator LaboratoryAccelerator Physics CenterBataviaUSA

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