Matthew Sands

(1919 – 2014)

Matthew Sands, SLAC deputy director from 1963 to 1969, was instrumental in the construction and early operation of the laboratory. He helped design the SPEAR storage ring and wrote a monograph on electron storage rings. After leaving SLAC, Sands became a professor at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Sands received his bachelor’s degree from Clark University in 1940 and his master’s degree from Rice University. He then worked at the Naval Ordnance and Los Alamos National laboratories, earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined the MIT faculty and moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he helped build a 1.5 Gev electron synchrotron. From 1968 to 1994, he conducted research on beam instabilities, linear colliders and other topics at laboratories in Germany, Italy and France and at SLAC.

Sands was the first to demonstrate the importance of quantum effects in electron accelerators. He proposed a high-energy proton synchrotron (300 Gev) using injection from a booster, and co-authored The Feynman Lectures on Physics.

Sands is an American Physical Society Fellow and founding member of the Federation of American Scientists.  He was a member of the Commission on College Physics and a consultant to the President’s Science Advisory Committee, the Department of Defense and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He received a Fulbright Scholarship in 1952, a Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1972, the Prize of the U.S. Particle Accelerator School in 1990, and the Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators in 1998.

Matthew Sands's biography page from SLAC's Archives, History & Records Office