Ernest Orlando Lawrence
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1939
Born: 8 August 1901, Canton, SD, USA
Died: 27 August 1958, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements."
Prize share: 1/1
If the nuclei of atoms are bombarded by beams of particles, such as protons, the atoms can be transformed into different variants of the element with different masses, so-called isotopes. The likelihood that particles can penetrate the atomic nucleus and bring about a nuclear reaction increases if the bombarding particles have a high velocity. In 1929 Ernest Lawrence developed an apparatus known as a cyclotron that used electrical and magnetic fields to accelerate protons to high velocities in a spiral-shaped path before they collide with their target.
Their work and discoveries range from the formation of black holes and genetic scissors to efforts to combat hunger and develop new auction formats.
See them all presented here.