MADISON, Wis. -- Dr. Donald William Kerst: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, pB2
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) - August 21, 1993
Deceased Name: MADISON, Wis. -- Dr. Donald William Kerst
MADISON, Wis. -- Dr. Donald William Kerst, 81, a builder of particle accelerators used in exploring the atomic nature of matter, died Thursday at University Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wis.
The hospital said the cause was a brain tumor. Dr. Kerst, a faculty member in the physics department of the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1962 until his retirement in 1980, was best known for his invention of the betatron during World War II.
The betatron was a device used for several years to accelerate electron beams for studying the inner structure of atoms and subatomic particles. After the betatron became obsolete for physics research, several versions of the machine were used therapeutically to accelerate electrons into cancerous tumors.
Capital Times, The (Madison, WI) - August 20, 1993, page3B
Deceased Name: SERVICES SET SUNDAY FOR PHYSICIST KERST
Memorial services are planned for Sunday in Madison for world-renowned physicist Donald W. Kerst, inventor of the betatron, a leader of a scientific group working on atomic bomb research in the 1940s and a retired UW professor.
Kerst, 81, Fort Myers, Fla., a Wisconsin native who earned his doctorate in physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1937, died from a brain tumor.
He was in Madison for treatment of his illness.
The memorial service will be at 2 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave.
During World War II, he worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, N.M., leading a group which constructed the first enriched uranium chain reaction.
As a member of the University of Illinois faculty and in conjunction with the Manhattan Project, he developed the 20-million-volt betatron, an accelerator used in nuclear research and treatment of cancer patients.
In 1943 he received the prestigious National Academy of Science Comstock prize for helping develop the nuclear accelerator, which was termed 'the most powerful X-ray in the world' at the time.
In the 1950s he directed a project that developed a 300-million-volt betatron and later was named technical director of MURA, a group of Midwestern universities organized to perform nuclear research.
He returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1963 as a member of its physics faculty, retiring in 1980.
While at the UW, he worked with other researchers to develop the concept for a magnetic doughnut to hold high plasma temperatures, considered too hot for other materials to contain in thermonuclear research.
He was son of Herman Samuel Kerst and Lillian E Wetz, natives of Darke Co OH, a descendent of Henry KERST and Appolonia Gerick, of Berks Co PA. Herman was a son of Samuel Kerst and Sarah Jane Beachler. Samuel was a son of Solomon Kerst and Christina Kohler. Solomon Kerst was a son of Samuel Kerst and Elizabeth Levan of Oley, Berks Co Pa. Samuel was son of Henry and Appolonia Kerst.
Diana in Pelham ALaudianaq@msn.com