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Synchrotron Radiation Center named after founder, Ednor Rowe

Ednor M. Rowe

Ednor M. Rowe (large image)

Ednor M. Rowe, widely considered the "father of synchrotron radiation," will have his profound contributions to the field honored in the renaming of the research center he helped create.

The UW System Board of Regents on Dec. 6 approved a plan to rename the Synchrotron Radiation Center the "Ednor M. Rowe Synchrotron Radiation Center." The tribute honors Rowe for his pioneering ideas in the field and his long leadership of the SRC.

Rowe, a Rochester, N.Y. native, died July 5, 1996 at age 68. He had been associate director of the SRC since 1986, and the center's director from its inception in 1968 until 1984.

Rowe led the development of the UW-Madison SRC through the mid-1960s, and the center became a model for similar facilities around the world. Synchrotron radiation, the light created from spinning electrons in storage rings, was widely considered a useless byproduct before Rowe saw its potential as a light source for materials studies. In the late '60s, he created the first UW-Madison electron storage ring, called Tantalus, literally from scratch.

Rowe's work made possible many fundamental discoveries in the semiconductor and microelectronics fields. Today, the SRC is helping scientists test new materials that could provide superconductivity at higher temperatures.