1964: Linear Accelerator Opens
When the construction of the Linac was announced in the fall of 1961,
it was portrayed as the next logical step on the Universityís research
path.† The Department of† Physics had built for itself a reputation
based upon experimentation and innovation. The post-war period saw the U of S† in the forefront of nuclear physics in
Canada.† In 1948, Canada's first
betatron (and the world's first used in the treatment of
cancer) was installed on campus. It was used for research programs in nuclear
physics, radiation chemistry, cancer therapy and radiation biology.† Next the world's first non-commercial
cobalt-60 therapy unit
for the treatment of cancer was officially opened in 1951.† With this unit research was undertaken in
the areas of radiological physics, radiation chemistry and the effects of high
energy radiation on plants and animals. The 80 foot electron accelerator tube
was to create energy six times that of the Universityís betatron.†† The cost of the $1,750,000 facility was
split between the National Research Council and the University of Saskatchewan
with the NRC meeting the cost of the equipment and the University assuming the
costs of the building.
The official opening in early November of 1964 was more than just a few
speeches and the cutting of a ribbon.††
It was a† physics-fest, with 75
visiting scientists from around the world in attendance, presenting papers and
giving lectures over a period of several days.†
Three eminent physicists were granted honorary degrees at the fall
convocation, and hundreds of people showed up for the public open house. 1
Leon Katz fonds, MG 39.
Department of Physics, RG 2043.
1964a: Linear AcceleratorLaboratory, Nov 1964, Photograph Collection, A-8643.
1964b: Linear AcceleratoryArtist Drawing, 1962, Photograph Collection, A-498.
1964c: Opening. Presidentís Office fonds, RG 2001 Series IV, file B.79.
1. On Campus News, 5 May 2000, p. 9