Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1976
Burton Richter, Samuel C.C. Ting

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Burton Richter - Interview

Interview, August 2008

Interview with 1976 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Burton Richter, 27 August 2008. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of

Burton Richter explains his early desire to understand how the universe worked and how this shaped his childhood interest in astronomy and chemistry, his decision to study physics at MIT (8:15), and his PhD research in the synchrotron lab (12:16). He then describes his transition to Stanford University and the 9 years, 6 million dollars and 'bureaucratic miracle' it took to build the positron electron collider, SPEAR (17:55), why SPEAR was able to detect Phi (32:41), and why that discovery was a watershed moment for physics (37:39). He closes by recounting his career shift to Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, or SLAC (48:51), and his current involvement in energy policy (54:11).

See a Video of the Interview
60 min.


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MLA style: "Burton Richter - Interview". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 25 May 2017. <>