NIMROD a 7Gev Proton Synchrotron

Part of the Control Room away from the Main Desk. The equipment racks are associated with the target positioning controls. The 'target' was a 10 cm long piece of copper into which the 7Gev proton beam was passed - a scintilator on the front of the 1cm (?) square piece of copper was illuminated by the beam passing through it. Only a small portion of the protons interacted with the atoms of the copper, the rest passing straight through and onto the next target. There were 3 targets and the final device was a Bubble Chamber where photographs were taken for ladies to study in the dark looking for some particular shape in the tracks.
It must have been an evening, or night shift, or, maybe even a weekend shift. Nimrod ran non-stop so a 24 hour shift system was operated in the Main Control Room. Here I am with my feet up reading a magazine; hope nobody 'important' comes in. While I may be 'slacking' in a few people's eyes, should an alarm go off or a request via the Centrum to sort something out for a Beam Line member, like "Where's the * * * beam gone?" has to be instantly attended to.

A general view of the Main Control Room Operations Desk.

This is where we lived while doing our sheduled shift. The swinging armchairs rapidly wore out with constant use. During machine operations the Control Room was always manned by an Engineer and a Technician plus all those, with nothing better to do, who came in to see what was going on and, during the season, listen to the cricket on the radio. How much it was costing the government for a bunch of quite highly paid people to listen to the cricket I have no idea but sometimes it got a bit much and those who really needed to be there had to tell the others to go away; something like that. I was very happy here and it was a great upset in my life when Mrs Margaret *** Thatcher declared that science, which had no apparent reason (to her) was a waste of money and shut the machine down. I was back on hated day work and lost my shift pay. Great! I was really happy about that.

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John Hardaker, Bampton, Oxfordshire, UK

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