Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Carl David Anderson
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1936
Born: 3 September 1905, New York, NY, USA
Died: 11 January 1991, San Marino, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the positron."
Prize share: 1/2
In developing quantum mechanical theory, Paul Dirac predicted that all matter has a kind of mirror image - antimatter. A particle and its antiparticle, if charged, should have opposite charges. By studying the tracks of cosmic ray particles in a cloud chamber, in 1932 Carl Anderson discovered a positively-charged particle with a mass seemingly equal to that of an electron. Carl Anderson's particle was the first antiparticle proven by experiment and was named a "positron".
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.