Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1950
Cecil Powell

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Cecil Powell - Facts

Cecil Frank Powell

Cecil Frank Powell

Born: 5 December 1903, Tonbridge, United Kingdom

Died: 9 August 1969, Italy

Affiliation at the time of the award: Bristol University, Bristol, United Kingdom

Prize motivation: "for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method"

Field: particle physics

Prize share: 1/1


Charged particles moving through photographic emulsions leave tracks that can be examined in the images developed afterward. Cecil Powell made improvements to this technique in order to study radiation and nuclear reactions. In 1947 he discovered that incident cosmic ray particles could react with atomic nuclei in the emulsion, creating other, short-lived particles. These particles turned out to be pi-mesons, the particles proposed by Hideki Yukawa as mediating the strong force binding protons and neutrons in nuclei.

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