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OSTIblog Articles in the physics Topic

Ernest Orlando Lawrence – The Father of Big Science

by Kathy Chambers 14 Apr, 2017 in

Ernest Orlando Lawrence
Ernest Orlando Lawrence.  Image credit:

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel Laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications. 

Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s love of science began at an early age and continued throughout his life.  His parents and grandparents were educators and encouraged hard work and curiosity.  While working on his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry at the University of South Dakota and thinking of pursuing a career in medicine, Lawrence became influenced by faculty mentors in the field of physics and decided instead to pursue his graduate degree in physics at the University of Minnesota.  After completing his Master’s degree, he studied for a year at the University of Chicago, where, Lawrence “caught fire as a researcher,” in the words of a later observer.  After Lawrence earned his Ph.D. in physics at Yale University in 1925, he stayed on for another three years as a National Research Fellow and an assistant professor of physics.  In 1928, Lawrence was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley as associate professor of physics.  Two years later, at the age of 27, he became the youngest full professor at Berkeley.

In 1929, Lawrence...

Related Topics: cyclotron, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, nobel prize in physics, physics, science, DOE R&D Accomplishments


Get scientific e-prints



The E-print Network provides a vast, integrated network of electronic scientific and technical information created by scientists and research engineers active in their respective fields, all full-text searchable.  Documents such as these are the means by which today’s scientists and researchers communicate their recent findings to their colleagues and by which they propose new ideas of how the world works to their peers for their collective judgment.  Documents such as these then are of the sort that becomes the central body of scientific information.  While the E-print Network is intended for use by scientists, engineers, and students at advanced levels, it is freely available for all users.

The gateway provides access to over 35,000 websites and numerous research databases worldwide containing over 5.5 million e-prints in basic and applied sciences in areas such as physics, computer and information technologies, biology and life sciences, environmental sciences, materials science, chemistry, nuclear sciences and engineering, energy research, and other disciplines of interest to DOE.

Related Topics: colleagues, documents, e-prints, full text, physics, researchers, science, scientists, searchable, E-Print Network (EPN)


Faster than the speed of light? Or an anomaly?

Albert Einstein


According to Einstein's theory of relativity, it is not possible for matter to travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.  The speed of light (186,282 miles per second) has long been considered a cosmic speed limit, and much of modern physics is based on Einstein's work. Now there is a possibility that Einstein was wrong -- and physics may have to rethink the concept of matter and energy.

The science world was surprised when workers at CERN, the world's largest physics lab, recently announced that they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light.  If their findings are proven to be correct, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which attempts to explain the way the universe and everything within it works. 
Neutrinos have long been suspected of being able to travel beyond light speed but the ability to measure their speed accurately has only recently been possible thanks to the CERN lab. This may be one of those moments in science history that opens the door to new discoveries, and could change the way we understand the universe and ourselves. However, given the potential far-reaching consequences of such a result, independent measurements are needed before the effect can either be refuted or firmly established.

To find out more about neutrinos and modern physics research results, go to...

Related Topics: biological sciences, neutrinos, physics, speed of light, ScienceCinema, Science Accelerator, (WWS)