Nevertheless, if I have at times been able to make original contributions in the accelerator field, I cannot help feeling that to a certain extent my slightly amateur approach in physics, combined with much practical experience, was an asset.
My father was a schoolteacher and my mother came from a teacher's family.
I designed the small storage ring used and participated at all stages of the experiment proper, including part of the data treatment.
My interest in matters more directly concerned with the handling of particles was growing, in the meantime, stimulated by many contacts with people understanding accelerators.
I visited the Gymnasium in The Hague and passed my final examination (in the sciences section) in 1943.
After developing a primitive theory (1968) I therefore did not pursue this subject. However, the work was taken up by others and in 1974 the first experiments were done in the ISR.
Since then, I have worked with the group that commissioned and improved the ring and that is now preparing the construction of a second ring to increase the p stacking rate by an order of magnitude.
Under these conditions it is not astonishing that learning was highly prized; in fact, my parents made sacrifices to be able to give their children a good education.
At this time, my work on the SPS power supplies had just come to an end; I joined a study group on the pp project and an experimental team studying cooling in a small ring (ICE).