President Clinton signed a $21.3 billion Energy and Water Appropriation bill on Friday that includes $9.9 million for MIT's Bates Linear Accelerator Center in Middleton, MA.
US Reps. John F. Tierney (D-Peabody), Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) and Joseph Moakley (D-Boston) and Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry fought to restore funding for Bates.
"Congress has found a path to the right outcome for the nation," said President Charles M. Vest. "The Bates Center has made unique and substantial contributions to our scientific and technological leadership and promises to add to that legacy over the next few years. This support for the laboratory will enable that promise to become a reality. We and all who rely upon Bates are deeply grateful."
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson told President Vest in February that he planned to reverse the administration's initial decision to substantially cut funding for the facility. He visited Bates in April and reinforced his support.
Bates is a world-class scientific facility that carries out frontier research in nuclear physics. It employs 85 scientific and technical personnel on projects such as huge detectors that can identify subatomic particles. Bates has educated and trained 114 PhD students over the past 20 years, many of whom have gone on to prestigious careers in research.
The central research focus at Bates is the study of the fundamental properties of the proton, including its magnetism and shape. A new major detector is under construction that will probe the fundamental origin of magnetism.
The laboratory is supported by the US Department of Energy and operated by MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science as a national facility.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 6, 1999.