On today’s Modern Notion Daily podcast, we’re talking with Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex (Simon & Schuster, July 2015). Hiltzik chronicles the life of Lawrence and his machine, the cyclotron (also known as the proton accelerator). This invention, Hiltzik argues, was the beginning of the military-industrial complex and “big science.” Later in the hour, we replay a story by reporter Daniel A. Gross about the post-World War II life of the cyclotron.

Music this hour: