The Instrumentation Center


lr boxContributor: Kelly Lambright

About the Display: Lawrencium is named after Ernest O. Lawrence, who created the cyclotron in 1934. The cyclotron is the first particle accelerator and is the instrument precursor to the large hadron collider. Lawrence is pictured (right) with Donald Cooksey in front of a 60" cyclotron. cyclotron instrument






Interestingly, there is a DC Comics character called Cyclotron who is an atomic scientist. He appears in the Superman comics in 1941 and then again in the All Star Squadron in 1983 as a Villain. The display features the comic book that Cyclotron debuts as well as a Cyclotron action figure. The action figure was created in 2010 as part of the DC Universe Classics line and is designed from the 1983 comic. 

The display also features a spiral-shaped stamp to represent the path particles take in a cyclotron. Watch the video below to learn how it works!

The element Lawrencium was created by particle bombardment. During the Cold War both Soviets and Americans were trying to create better atomic weapons. Lawrencium was discovered during this process by both Americans (1961) and Soviets (1965), independently. 








Back to the Periodic Table


Symbol: Lr (formerly Lw)

Atomic Number: 103

Atomic Mass: 262

Electron Configuration: [Rn] 5f14 7s2 7p1

Year Discovered: 1961 (USA); 1965 (Soviet Union)

Discovered By: (Created/Synthesized):

Albert Ghiorso, Torbjørn Sikkeland, Almon E. Larsh and Robert M. Latimer (of Univ. California-Berkeley in the USA)  

AND E.D. Donets, V.A. Schchegolev, and V.A. Ermakov (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia)

cyclotron comics












  Comic book image of Cyclotron from DC Comics;

  In the display: Cyclotron action figure from Mattel

Last Updated: 3/13/17