Wednesday, March 15, 2006

16 March 1918: Happy Birthday, Nobel Laureate Frederick Reines


Frederick Reines
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

Frederick Reines (March 16, 1918 – August 26, 1998) was an American physicist. He was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics for his detection of the neutrino in the neutrino experiment, and is considered to be the only scientist in history so intimately associated with the discovery and subsequent investigation of an elementary particle.

In 1944 Reines began working Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he became a member, and later a leader, of the Theoretical Division at the University of California, Irvine, where he also served as a professor and founding dean of Physical Sciences.

There, during the mid-1950’s, he and his colleague, Clyde Cowan, confirmed the existence neutrinos during the mid-1950’s, which since its proposal by Wolfgang Pauli 20 years earlier, had only been theoretical. From then on Reines dedicated the major part of his career to the study of the neutrino’s properties and interactions, which would influence study of the neutrino for future researchers to come, including the discovery of neutrinos emitted from Supernova SN1987A by the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven Colloboration, which used Reines’ research to demonstrate the neutrino’s role in the collapse of stars.

More here.

Honorable mention: Luis E. Miramontes (March 16, 1925 – September 13, 2004). Mexican chemist known as the co-inventor of the first oral contraceptive.

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