Burton Richter (born March 22 1931) is a Nobel Prize-winning United States physicist. A native of New York City, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1952 and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1956. He was director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) from 1984 to 1999.
As a professor at Stanford University, Richter built a particle accelerator called SPEAR (Stanford Positron-Electron Asymmetric Ring) wit
Construction of SLAC Linear Collider began in 1983, and was finished in late 1987. The first physics experiments began in 1990 after a difficult start up. This was a new kind of accelerator complex, and, though we had anticipated some of the new problems we would face, we had not anticipated all.
Getting enough energy to satisfy the needs of the developing world without bringing on an eco-disaster is not going to be easy. It will require a marriage of science and technology with good international policy, something that is always hard to bring off. We need to get it right this time.
Since stepping down as laboratory director in 1999, I have devoted an increasing fraction of my time to international issues. I am involved with energy, environment, and sustainability issues, particularly as they involve new energy sources free of greenhouse gases.