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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

I distinctly remember the day Dick interviewed me for the job of designing the magnet power supply system for his spectrometers in End Station A. Dick did not want to farm out the job to the Accelerator Engineering group, but wanted an engineer he could supervise in his group. I had been doing power supply design work at MURA in Madison WI.

The day of my interview Dick was in the middle of negotiating the purchase of the on-line computer that would be used for the spectrometers. As I was in his office, there was Dick shouting and cursing into the telephone. I seriously asked myself whether I wanted to work for someone like that. Was he a potential abuser? I asked Ed Taylor and others, and they assured me that behind that rough exterior, underneath that roaring lion, was a very gentle and caring person. I would have nothing to fear as long as I did my job. I should never hide a problem from him, advice which I followed. Dick placed his confidence in me, and I worked hard never to disappoint him.

I remember the day on which a magnet coil was seriously damaged because of an error I had made in the magnet protection interlock system. There I was in the presence of Dick and Pief, like a dog with its tail between his legs. The consequence was that the experiment was delayed by a few weeks. But there were no recriminations, and I was allowed to continue. I never repeated that mistake.

I never regretted my decision to come to work for Dick Taylor. When people ask me about my work at SLAC, I tell them that it was a pleasure to help build the toys that Nobel Prize winners like Dick Taylor used in their work.

Martin Berndt