Another original member of the Nuclear Physics Group headed by Dr. Lloyd F. Chase at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Labs (LPARL) in the 1960’s has passed away.
Dr. Stanley R. Salisbury was my first supervisor at LPARL in 1962 when both he and I were hired into Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. at their Palo Alto Research Laboratories.
During my first ten years at Lockheed Stan and I worked on many projects together. He taught me the intricacies of thin film technology, that allowed me to make many of the thin film targets required in experiments on the lab’s 3.5 MEV Van de Graaff Accelerator. Numerous papers were published in the physics journals during those years, that were a direct result of our thin film nuclear target technology, that pushed forward the frontiers of nuclear physics research.
The last project that Stan and I worked on together was the design, construction and fielding of an X-Ray pin-hole camera in one of the Underground Nuclear Tests (UGT) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), where the US military conducted various tests on military hardware subjected to the effects from the explosion of a nuclear bomb.
The Department of Defense (DOD) at that time gave LPARL a contract to capture a picture of a nuclear device (bomb) at the precise moment of detonation. No one had ever seen what a nuclear bomb exploding actually looked like at the moment of detonation. Stan and I took that challenge, and we did get that “picture”, and were honored by the DOD for our contribution.
I have since written a detailed account of this pin-hole camera experiment that Stan and I fielded in that long ago UGT, but will not go into that here.
Surfice it to say, in spite of all of his many quirks, Stan was a very talented nuclear physicist who taught me much during our many years of scientific association.
Stan’s passing now, is yet another bell tolling for the last time, on an era of nuclear physics research that happens only once in history.
Rest in peace old buddy.
(Just a few of my thoughts regarding Stan, who I thought about just the other day.)
Matthew R. Miller, Sr., Scientist/Administrator
Retired after 38 years with LPARL