Israeli President Ephraim Katzir yesterday dedicated a 14-million volt pelletron nuclear accelerator at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot. The 184-foot high, American-built accelerator, which the Weizmann Institute calls the world’s largest, is the first part of a Canada Center of Nuclear Physics at the Institute.
Katzir said that as President of Israel, he asked himself if there was justification in such a huge expenditure by the Israeli government. Half of the $6.5 million cost came from the government and the rest was contributed by a Canadian group beaded by Murray B. Koffler, a Toronto businessman and philanthropist. Although Israel has serious economic and social problems, Katzir said, he felt the investment was justified because of its contributions to the advancement of science.
Prof. Yigal Talmi, a leading nuclear physicist, said that the accelerator will be at the disposal of scientists from Israel and the rest of the world. He expressed the hope that the day will come soon when there will be peace in the Middle East and Arab physicists will be able to come to the Weizmann Institute and work together with their Israeli colleagues. Also participating in the ceremony were Koffler; Prof. Michael Sela, president of the Weizmann Institute, and Canadian Ambassador Edward G. Lee. as well as a large group from the Canadian Friends of the Weizmann Institute.
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