Carl D. Anderson


Carl David Anderson

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, 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. Anderson’s particle was the first antiparticle proven by experiment and was named a “positron”.

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