the walls--400 lab / DSCN0012
2001, A Space Odyssey
This was the first, and to my mind the best, of the Oxford
Instruments posters, a takeoff on the mysterious black monolith in
"2001: A Space Odyssey" with its ability to inspire early hominids to take
up tools (which were immediately used to commit
homicide). I must have seen this poster hanging in at least half of
the NMR labs I have visited. It
came out sometime in the 80's when 600 magnets were very new, and biomolecular
NMR had not yet
gotten in to high gear. The magnet is shown on a stand without antivibration
legs, a configuration that no one would buy today.
By today's standards, 600 is just a starting point for protein NMR, but
early on, there was significant debate about whether
such expensive instruments (initially over a million dollars) would really
make it in the marketplace. I heard that many people
inside Bruker had their doubts, but one foresightful person pointed out,"Why
will people buy them? One word: ego."
Many hundreds of 600 MHz instruments have been sold, so draw your own conclusions.