New chief sees future of less nuclear physics, more biomedical work, and more commercial projects.
BERKELEY, CALIF.--Its main thoroughfare is still called Cyclotron Road, a relic of its days as the world's premier center for high-energy physics. But the name is rapidly becoming an anachronism. In just a few years, the last of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's big particle accelerators - the billion-electron-volt Bevalac - will be shut down. That will leave only a vintage 88-inch cyclotron at the institution where Ernest O. Lawrence invented the atom-smashing machines in the 1930s.

Yet the shutdown of its antiquated accelerators is only one of the more dramatic signs of major change under way at LBL, which is one of three large national laboratories operated by the University of California for the Department of Energy. (The others are Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories, both major weapons centers.)

Increasingly, LBL is moving...

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