The third ever cyclotron (atom smasher) to be built in the USA (Rochester, 1938) was decommissioned and transferred to India (Chandigarh, 1965-67) where it functions to date with the bulk of its original parts. There are three such reborn equipment and refurbished laboratories that I am aware of: Rice University, Texas (1961) to Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City (1980s); (ii) Rice University, Texas (1961) to Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb (1980s); (iii) parts from The Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY) in Berlin to the SESAME Project in Jordan (1990s). These laboratory systems - often running into hundreds of square meters - were transferred from their original setting and reassembled in their host locations in a different country with new buildings and, often, a new research agenda. Given that the equipment was meant for research in nuclear physics and it went to developing countries during the Cold War – there is a global story that emerges from looking at this »atomic trash«. This is equally, I argue, a story of re-imagination and recreation of the laboratory space, its design and even more so, of its purpose.
Jahnavi Phalkey will also show clips from her documentary film about the Chandigarh cyclotron laboratory in India in order to discuss the specificity of the Indian story, the transition from the table-top to factory laboratory and finally, the global Cold War story of gifts and exchanges.
Jahnavi Phalkey is a historian of twentieth century science and technology based at the King's College London. She is Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin this year (2013-14).
01.07.2014; 18–21 Uhr
Bild Wissen Gestaltung. Ein Interdisziplinäres Labor.
Sophienstraße 22a, 2.HH, 2.OG, Zentraler Laborraum