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Page 48 text:
The Battle Collection of Plaster Casts, a set of replicas of Greek and Roman sculpture exhibited on the second floor of the HRC, allows students glimpses of ancient cultures The Gutenberg Bible, centerpiece of the HRC lobby, is surrounded by abstract pieces from the Michener Collection of modern American art 42 Harry Ransom Center
Page 47 text:
ami: Haven I ax ' s i t TtnAI Cotfiji aajHI SOBBB UXd UK j wr i h gp fc ccaastil th iWi w I gyi inn ions. Ac- ..,,-..:: :- ji i Two technicians examine a " port " of the Texas Experimental Tokamak, heart of the University ' s Fusion Research Center, while the machine is shut down for routine maintenance. engineers and technicians. The graduate students participating in the program were chosen as research assistants and worked 20 hours a week for a full year. Each student worked on his doctorate, developing experiments for the TEXT lab. Paul Rabe, one of the first graduate students to work in the program, began his job four years ago, in 1977. " I ' m putting together a laser system for the TEXT, " he explained, " and Jim Geary (another student) is building a microwave detector. They will be our doc- toral experiments. " The tokamak itself was similar to a magnetic bottle, keeping the particles of plasma suspended in a magnetic field instead of allowing them to touch the sides. Such a field is the only thing that can hold the plasma, whose temperature would allow it to burn through a conventional encasement. The TEXT was not designed to raise the plasma to such temperatures, ( since extreme heat was not needed for the research done here. The plasma in the RLM tokamak usually ranged from 25 million to 50 million degrees because it was ordinary hydrogen, not the hydrogen isotopes necessary for the actual fusion process. Fusion takes place when the nuclei of deuterium of tritium (hydrogen atoms with extra electrons) fuse to form helium, releasing vast amounts of energy in the process. As of 1981, no more research tokamaks were planned in the U.S., making the Texas tokamak one of the last facilities. Test reac- tors were the next fusion machines planned and pilot plants may operate by the year 2000. In 1982, UT and the Massachusetts In- stitute of Technology had the largest univer- sity experiment programs. Because UT ' s facility was not cont rolled by the govern- ment, Greene explained, the experiment schedule was flexible enough to allow graduate students access to the equipment. He added that when the pilot plants are built, trained personnel would be needed to work in them. UT ' s graduate program was unique in giving those future fusion scien- tists the firsthand experience they could not get elsewhere. In addition to the graduate program, the nation ' s top university scientists had access to the tokamak. Dr. William Drummond, director of the FRC, said that the Texas tokamak had " a complement of scientific measuring instruments of greater variety and precision than any other fusion device in the world. " The unit was large enough to pro- duce plasma under fusion-like conditions and had 46 " ports " surrounding the doughnut, where scientists could attach diagnostic instruments. Operational four days a week, the tokamak used two megawatts of electricity for each of the experiments, which could be run at five-minute intervals. The results of each experiment were available immediately from the nearby computer consoles. The Institute for Fusion Studies operated alongside the FRC. UT established the In- stitute in 1980 in conjunction with the Department of Energy, which awarded the University a $5 million grant for fusion research that year, making UT the leading college in independent fusion studies. UT created the Institute to handle both the long-range and short-range problems that arise when evaluating " alternative magnetic fusion " concepts. In addition to being a na- tional center for theoretical plasma physics research, the Institute was the main center for fusion information exchange between the United States and Japan. Dr. Marshall Rosenbluth, whom Drummond considered the world ' s leading fusion scientist, directed the Institute. Tokamak 41
Page 49 text:
Gutenberg Bible Just One Of Ransom Center Treasures by JOAN HOLLAND AFTER the University acquired the Gutenberg Bible in 1975, the Harry Ransom Center officials encased it in an airtight glass box for perma- nent display. Located in the HRC lobby, the display was a paradox of culture: the priceless 15th-century book, the first printed with movable type, lay in the midst of the Michener collection of modern American art. On the second floor, just above this display, the C. R. Smith collection of western art sat next to an exhibit of 13 Greek vases dating from 600 B.C. The HRC, a treasure chest of objects from the University ' s Humanities Research Center, was one of the most complete facilities of its kind in the world. Besides countless objects d ' art, including Rem- brandt etchings, the world ' s first photograph and magician Harry Houdini ' s collection of occult materials, the center was home for one of the world ' s most extensive collec- tions of rare 19th- and 20th-century British and American manuscripts. The only trick to seeing the valuables was knowing where to look and whom to ask. As the officials of the center were fond of repeating, the HRC was a research center, not a museum. Because many of the works owned by the University were not on perma- nent display, it was difficult, although not impossible, to see them. The center housed more than 800,000 rare books, 4 million photographs, a collection of theatre arts and more than 40,000 pieces of iconography that included early engravings, portraits and et- chings (including some by Picasso for Lysistrata). Of these, naturally, only a small percentage could be displayed at any one time. Less than 1,000 pieces of the iconography collection were ava ilable for public viewing. Upon request, however, students could view the rest of the pieces in a room known as " The Vault " on the fourth floor of the Academic Center. The top floor of the AC contained many special collec- tion features works by Remington. tions of the HRC, including the J. Frank Dobie Library. This library housed some of the Texas author and folklorist ' s own volumes, and also his art collection, with pieces by Charles Russell, Frederick Rem- ington, and other western artists. Most of the more familiar collections on the first and second floors of the Ransom Center were not HRC property, but belong- ed instead to UT ' s Huntington Art Gallery, which borrowed the HRC space for these collections. Exhibits on other floors did belong to HRC and included such special collections as the Willoughby-Blake Room on the seventh ' floor. This exhibit, donated by descendants of James Harper Starr, secretary of the treasury during the Republic of Texas, featured a collection of 18th- century Hester Bateman silver, Steuben and Waterford crystal, and settings of Texian Campaign china dating from 1840. The seventh floor also housed the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Library, which in- cluded elaborate costumes from early UT productions of Macbeth and Richard III, all designed by Lucy Barton. Also available for study on the seventh floor were collections of American cinema memorabilia, including screenplays and production notes dating from 1900 through the 1970s. The sixth floor was dedicated to photography and boasted more than 100 col- lections of photographs, as well as 2,000 an- tique cameras. The world ' s first photograph, taken in 1826, was part of the Gernsheim Collection, acquired in 1964. To the international circle of literary scholars, the fifth floor was the crown jewel of the HRC. In its vast cache were the large collections of manuscripts and cor- respondence of such writers as Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, the Brontes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hem- ingway, James Joyce, John Steinbeck, George Bernard Shaw and Tennessee Williams. Many of the collections, including those of Shaw and Williams, were thought to be the world ' s largest single collection of works by those authors. Harry Ransom Center 43
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