Carnegie Institute Nuclear Lab

Frederick Seitz, an eminent condensed-matter theorist, guided Carnegie Institute of Technology studied nuclear particles. While Frederick Seitz oversaw the institution, he invited Edward Creutz to join the department as an associate. As Edward Creutz accepted the offer to join Frederick Seitz as an associate, Seitz gave him permission to oversee the nuclear physics faculty group. Being the head of the nuclear physics faculty group Edward Creutz brought some colleagues, Roger Sutton and Jack Fox, that he worked with prior at Princeton. As the nuclear physic faculty studied the particle mass of energy using a conventional cyclotron, Frederick Seitz helped Edward Creutz and his group get funding for the synchrocyclotron. The funding from the Office of Naval Research which allowed Creutz and his faculty overcome the limitations of having a conventional cyclotron. Because Carnegie Institute of Technology obtained a synchrocyclotron Creutz, and his faculty competed against the University of Chicago and Columbia University in building the most effective synchrocyclotron. Edward Creutz thought of a more cost-effective way to build the synchrocyclotron, he figured out a way to make it only weigh 1500 tons, which was much less compared to his competitors. The complete construction of the synchrocyclotron would be done in Saxonburg Pennsylvania.


The creation of a successful synchrocyclotron has the capability to accelerate protons to nearly the same speed as light. This facility in Saxonburg studied basic nuclear properties of particles as well as studying metals. The synchrocyclotron allowed scientist to experiment the effects of induced radiation on physical properties of multiple metals such as magnesium- 54, cobalt- 60, sodium- 22, and uranium.


Working under Seitz, Edward Creutz realized the potential the research facility had. The stakes were high going up against other universities to create something that could change science forever. It is also important to remember that these discoveries were founded during the cold war era. Not only were universities were competing for recognition, the United States of America and the Soviet Union were competing for power. Any discovery in science, especially in the nuclear study, gave an advantage over the other country.
Edward Creutz became the head director of the Nuclear Research Center in 1948. As head director of the Research Center Creutz brought more faculty members to join him. He invited Lincoln Wolfenstein, Herbert Corben, Sergio DeBenedetti, Walter Kohn, Julius Ashkin, Gian-Carlo Wick, Richard Becker, and Siegfried Flugge. While all the associates joined Creutz they discovered a track in a photographic emulsion of a meson. This could have only been produced by Edward Creutz’s newly designed synchrocyclotron. His design of the machine was the basis for all future nuclear studies. His findings would be known around the world and studied even in future generations. After Edward Creutz leaves Carnegie Institute of Technology he decided to start theorizing thermonuclear fusion as an energy.


Being the first Research facility to create a successful synchrocyclotron was a landmark for the science world. Located in Saxonburg Pennsylvania, only having a total population of 550 people in 1948, Edward Creutz and his faculty group discovered how meson beams react with different nuclei. In a time where the United States of America was fighting for dominating power over the Soviet Union, Edward Creutz and his faculty were the in competition against the University of Chicago and Columbia University. Beating his competition Edward Creutz’s discovery is still being researched today.


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