Thornton Murphy  April 13, 2016  D. Carrigan (Carrigan@fnal.gov - subject line must be sensible)

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Thorton Murphy

C. Thornton Murphy, a senior physicist at Fermi National Accelerator in Batavia, Illinois died 12 October 2001 from a fall at his home in Batavia.
             Murphy was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts February 20, 1938. His father was a professor of classics so that Thornton traveled widely in Europe with his family as a boy, becoming fluent in Italian and French. He graduated from Western Reserve Academy in 1954. He went on to Princeton University as an undergraduate and then to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics in 1963. Upon graduation Murphy continued to work on bubble chamber physics at LBL as a University of Wisconsin research associate. After Wisconsin he became an assistant  professor of physics at the University of Michigan and then moved to Carnegie-Mellon University before coming to Fermilab in 1972. At Carnegie he developed several teaching innovations including courses in relativity and new approaches to laboratory classes.
            When Murphy arrived at Fermilab he started a new career developing beams and experimental facilities at Fermilab. Murphy was one of the true  pioneers that helped build Fermilab. He was an important contributor to the design and construction of the Proton Laboratory, one of the three  major experimental areas at Fermilab at the time. He eventually became  head of that facility.   Over the years he also served as head of the Beams Group, the  Research Facilities Department, and the Cryogenic Department in the  Research Division. He was a key person in  the Tevatron installation. Murphy was an expert in the surveying  requirements of large accelerator facilities and  served as a consultant to the Superconducting Super Collider project in this area. At the time of his death he was project manager for the Fermilab Switchyard 120 Project which was bringing Main Injector beam out for fixed target experiments.
            During his 29 years at the Laboratory Murphy pursued his research interests. He continued his bubble chamber research begun at Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon by inaugurating a bubble chamber program when he arrived at Fermilab. He served as spokesman for the Fermilab bubble chamber experiment E-194, a study of proton interactions in Deuterium. On completion of that program, he developed an interest in electronic experiments, culminating in an extensive series of experiments that studied quark-antiquark and quark-gluon interactions that  produced direct photons, muon pairs, chi states and B mesons. The possibilities for using very high energy proton beams to produce large samples of B mesons led Murphy to combine his research and beams interests in an innovative proposal to extract a 20 TeV beam from the SSC using bent crystal channeling. Murphy then led a very successful test of the process at the Tevatron.
           Throughout his professional life Murphy continued to be interested in travel and contacts with scientists throughout the world. He developed an extensive network in Europe and Russia to support the SSC/Tevatron bent crystal extraction test. Murphy worked on leave at CERN in 1985-86, the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1991 and Frascati in 1997-98. Beyond physics, Murphy was fond of music. Only days before the accident he had led Fermilab in singing "Happy Birthday" in Italian and English on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Enrico Fermi's birth.
(R. Carrigan, B. Cox, and C. Moore)