Allan M. Cormack
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1979
Born: 23 February 1924, Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: 7 May 1998, Winchester, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA
Prize motivation: “for the development of computer assisted tomography”
Prize share: 1/2
The discovery of X-rays and the possibility of obtaining images of the body’s interior quickly led to medical applications. The possibilities of X-ray technology were further expanded with computed tomography (CT). If X-rays are sent through the body from different angles and registered when they have passed the body, images of different cross sections are created through advanced computer calculations. Around 1957 Allan Cormack developed the necessary methods of calculation. In addition to cross sections of the body, computed tomography also provides a basis for three-dimensional images.