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Alvarez (Alvarez), Louis W.

( American physicist. Nobel Prize in Physics, 1968)

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Biography Alvarez (Alvarez), Louis W.
June 13, 1911, September 1, 1988
American physicist Luis Walter Alvarez was born in San Francisco (California). His mother - Harriet Skidmore (nee Smith), Alvarez, father - Walter Clement Alvarez, Professor, University of California, a physician and journalist who covers medical topics. In 1926, when his father, Luis went to work at Mayo Clinic, his family moved to Rochester (Minnesota). A., one of four children, graduated from the Rochester high school in 1928. and entered the University of Chicago. Initially, he majored in chemistry, but then, encouraged by one of his teachers, chose to study physics. After graduating with honors from the university in 1932, he stayed in Chicago for further study, became a master in 1934, and a doctor in 1936. Big fan of aviation. A., studying at the university, he attended courses at the same time piloting. In this case, he was so talented that made his first solo flight after only three hours fifteen minutes of instruction.
Returning to California, and. engaged in research in nuclear physics, as an assistant researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, then there also became a teacher in 1938. In the late 30's, he together with Jacob X. Vayensom at the cyclotron at Berkeley, received an artificial isotope of mercury with an atomic weight of 198. In the future, the U.S. Bureau of Standards has a wavelength of light that emits mercury lamp, filled with pairs of this isotope, as a length standard. As a result of their further studies A. in 1937. experimentally proved, . that the nucleus of an atom can capture some of the electrons, . located on the closest to the core of the orbits of the atom (K-capture), . The developed method of producing beams of very slow neutrons opened the way for fundamental studies of neutron scattering and allowed for the first time to measure the magnetic moment of the neutron,
. Shortly before the Second World War, A. with one of his colleagues discovered tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) and helium-3 (an isotope, which plays an important role in low temperature physics).
In 1940. A. Berkeley took leave for military studies in the radiation laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here, together with Lawrence Johnston, he developed three important radar systems, . in particular the advanced microwave radar system, . allow the detection of aircraft, . lost in the fog over the airfield, . and accompany them to a happy landing,
. This system, based on ground control, soon became widely used, first the military services, and then in civil airports. For this A. was awarded in 1946. Honorary necklace highest aviation award in the United States, awarded by the National Society of Aeronautics. Being engaged in war research at MIT, . he, . besides, . developed a high-altitude radar 'Eagle', . facilitated the accurate bombing during the bombing of the Japanese oil refineries, . and microwave receiver early warning, . captured the image of air combat.,
. In 1943, Mr.
. A. left MIT, and moved to Los Angeles (New Mexico), where as a member of the Manhattan Project, worked with Enrico Fermi. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller and other scientists to build atomic bomb. That A. proposed a method by which was blown up one of the options bomb. Once in 1946. He was present at the first nuclear explosion test site at Alamogordo (New Mexico), he was sent to one of the Pacific bases, from where he flew the plane B-29 to observe the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Some lay down after he was among those scholars who, unlike Oppenheimer and many other members of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Atomic Energy Commission insisted that President Harry C. Truman authorized the work to create the hydrogen bomb.
Returning after the war in Berkeley, A. charge of construction of the Radiation Laboratory for Fundamental Research in the field of atomic energy, t.ch. 40-foot proton linear accelerator, the first of its kind.
To study the set of elementary particles produced in the new accelerators need to register their marks, or Tracks. The first device that allows to execute such registration was an ionization chamber, invented in 1911. CH.T.R. Wilson. When Wilson expanded and thus cooled supersaturated vapor in his cell, atomic particles flying through it, leave a trail of droplets of liquid that can be photographed. Further progress in the field of particle detection were made in the 40's, when Cecil F. Piuell developed photographic emulsion, which managed to get the image tracks directly. However, with the advent of new, more powerful accelerators in the early 50-ies, these methods are obsolete, as formed in the particle accelerators with high energy has a very short lifetime and a small length of track. To overcome these difficulties have been in 1952, when Donald A. Glizer invented the bubble chamber, in which the particles passed through the superheated liquid-liquid heated above its boiling point, - to leave a trace of gas bubbles.
Acquainted with the work of Glaser at the conference in 1953, A. significantly improved the bubble chamber. using as a liquid and liquid hydrogen. During the next five years, has been established, a series of increasing diameter chambers: from 1-inch to 72-inch camera in 1959. In 1960, Mr.. first time, many new elementary particles were observed in Berkeley.
To photograph tracks of such particles, a colleague. Jack Frank created a rotating system of stereographic. Nicknamed 'Frankenstein', it began operation in 1957, and then reuse those engaged in high-energy physics. In order to analyze the millions of photos, film annually at those facilities, A. and his colleagues used high-speed computers. In the late 50-ies, they have developed sophisticated computer programs, allows you to sort and analyze data with unprecedented speed and accuracy. As a result of such studies in the 60-ies the number of known particles increased from about 30 to more than 100. Many of them were 'resonance' - short-lived particles, which can not be observed directly but whose existence is manifested in the sudden increase in the number of other particles that arise when a certain energy. Almost all the resonances were discovered either by the AG or his colleagues or other scientists who have used the bubble chamber and analytical techniques.
In 1968. A. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for exceptional contributions to elementary particle physics, . in particular for the discovery of a large number of resonances, . made possible thanks to technology developed by them using the hydrogen bubble chamber and original analysis of data ',
. When presenting the winner Sten von Friesen, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said: 'Creating a hydrogen bubble chamber has opened up entirely new possibilities for research in high energy physics. As a result - the discovery of new elementary particles. Almost all the discoveries made in this important area, made possible only through the methods developed by Professor Alvarez '.
A scientist with a wide range of interests,. headed in 1965. joint US-Egyptian expedition, which, by sensing of cosmic rays tried to find out whether there are hidden rooms in the pyramid of Pharaoh Khafre at Giza (no found no such rooms). If we turn to the field even more remote from the physics of elementary particles, then in 1979. He along with his son Walter, a professor of geology at Berkeley, proposed a radical theory explaining the extinction of dinosaurs and other forms of life 65 million years ago. They suggested that some asteroid collided with Earth with such force that the resulting cloud of dust and smoke, stop access to sunlight, because of what was lost vegetation serves as food for the dinosaurs. This idea was reinforced in 1985. reported on the opening widely scattered particles of soot, dating from the age of 65 Ma and may result from a global conflagration that resulted from the impact of extraterrestrial alien. However, this theory remains controversial.
In addition, A. received a chain reaction, without using uranium, has invented a new system of color television and discovered a radioactive isotope of helium. Once he came up with the electrical system for indoor training in golf enjoyed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Because of the extreme diversity of areas, which contributed to AA, he was nicknamed 'physicist with crazy ideas. "
In 1936, Mr.. A. married Geraldine Smituik, and they had a son and daughter. The marriage ended in divorce, and in 1958. A. married Janet Lendis, from this marriage he had also a son and a daughter.
Among other awards A. Award-John Scott, Mr.. Philadelphia (1953), . Prize Albert Einstein Memorial Foundation Lewis and Rosa Strauss (1961), . Award 'for innovative research' Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1963) and the National Medal 'For his scientific achievements' of the National Science Foundation,
. He was president of the American Physical Society in 1969. and was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. He was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Chicago, the University of Carnegie - Mellon University, Kenyon College and the University of Notre Dame.


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Alvarez (Alvarez), Louis W., photo, biography
Alvarez (Alvarez), Louis W., photo, biography Alvarez (Alvarez), Louis W.  American physicist. Nobel Prize in Physics, 1968, photo, biography
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