Bertram N. Brockhouse
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1994
Born: 15 July 1918, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Died: 13 October 2003, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Affiliation at the time of the award: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Prize motivation: "for the development of neutron spectroscopy."
Prize share: 1/2
Atomic nuclei are composed of protons and neutrons. Bertram Brockhouse and Clifford Shull developed methods for investigating different materials with beams of neutrons created in a nuclear reactor. When neutron beams come in contact with a material, some of the neutron's energy is converted into vibrations. The vibrations, known as phonons, correspond to fixed energy levels that form a spectrum. During the 1950s Bertram Brockhouse developed methods for using these spectrums to chart properties of different molecules and materials.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
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