Skip to main content.

Archives, History & Records Office

Archives, History & Records Office | SLAC Research Library |

Last Updated: 08/26/2020

Hours: By appointment Monday-Friday during regular work hours.


Archives E-mail: slacarc[@]
RM E-mail: recordsmgt[@]
Phone: (650)926-3091
Post: SLAC Archives and History Office, M/S 82, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Office Location: Bldg.50, Rm.122

Dick Taylor Story

When I came to SLAC in 1973 I was in awe of the spectrometers in ESA, and took visitors to see them, as well as the end stations at SSRL.

I admired Dick for his contributions to these instruments and had several interactions with him. One that took place during SLC times (around June 1983) is particularly memorable.

This was still in the days before SSRL had its own injector. The inac was the injector to SPEAR operating 50% time as a synchrotron radiation source.

Priority was given to SLC operation, with injection to SPEAR from the linac limited to two intervals, from 6-8 am and 6-8 pm. The linac had to operate in very different modes for SLC and SPEAR injection. Furthermore, SPEAR maintenance was low on the priority list for SLAC and the reliability was poor.

It took most of 2 hours to get a circulating beam in SPEAR, but then it was often lost (due to an rf trip or other hardware malfunction) within an hour or so, and we has to wait 11 or more hours with no beam, while waiting for the next injection. I think our efficiency during this time was 30-50 %.

After several days of such frustrating operation of SPEAR, I had to explain to our users why we had so little beam time. To help with his I asked Dick Taylor, who was in charge of setting priorities for the SLAC linac, to meet with our users to explain why we had so little beam.

Dick led off this meeting with two comments. I paraphrase what he said as follows:

  1. I have heard about synchrotron radiation research. It can't be very important, since, if it was important I would be doing it.
  2. I have seen the June 1983 issue of Physics Today, with a lead article on synchrotron radiation research by Bienenstock and Winick, but I have not read it.

This interaction did little to satisfy our users.

The situation is much better now, with SPEAR rebuilt as a light source, and with its own injector. Our efficiency is now >98%.

Herman Winick