Medicine: Cyclotron Cataracts

Physicist Dean B. Cowie, 28, was standing about two feet away from the new cyclotron at Carnegie Institution of Washington. The date was Dec. 31, 1943. Unexpectedly, the cyclotron worked on its first trial. Cowie was hit by a charge of neutrons that may have been as much as 15 million volts. In spite of three operations, he is now blind in one eye. He can barely see out of the other, but hopes it will improve after an operation.

The cyclotron, man's first atom-smasher, is apparently most dangerous when it is just starting its first magnetic merry-go-round and still needs adjusting....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!