Back in the days of our Cosmotron accelerator, control rooms were full of analog knobs and buttons, and the scientists wore pants up at their actual waists. In 1952, the hard-core researchers above were inventing new technologies to replicate energetic cosmic rays.
Nowadays, our Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider carries that torch, but it’s operated in a lean, flat-screened control room. There may not be oscilloscope panels or a 1950s microphone, but groundbreaking data and high-precision measurements play out across each of those screens as RHIC smashes particles. Our NASA Space Radiation Laboratory uses that same control room to prepare particle beams that simulate the impacts of deep space travel on biology and materials.