Some 20th-century scientists

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This is just a list of some 20th-century scientists (82 of them, to be precise), hence the title. It was originally done for that infamous History of Science class. So why am I putting it on my homepage? Well... why not?

Note: In Sep 2001, I added more ``died'' dates (based on info found in various Google searches) and added an entry for Carl Sagan.

I am beginning (Dec 2002) to link names to entries in Eric Weisstein's World of Science and other sites.

Some 20th-century scientists (1900-c.1945)

BOHR, Niels Henrik David

physicist; Copenhagen, Denmark, 10/7/1885-11/18/62; Bohr model of atom (13); idea of quantized electron momentum; relation of electron shells to chemical properties; Nobel Prize in Physics (22); idea of compound nucleus; studies of nuclear decay (39); work at Los Alamos; establishment of CERN. [WW/BD]


physicist; Bollington, England, 10/20/1891-7/24/74; studies of radioactivity, alpha particle bombardment; Nobel Prize in Physics (35) for discovery of neutron (32); studies of chain reactions, nuclear disintegration, which led to atomic bomb. [WW/BD/FP]

COCKCROFT, Sir John Douglas

nuclear physicist; Todmorden, England, 5/27/1897-9/18/67; construction [with Ernest T. S. Walton] of first particle accelerator (32), with which performed first transmutation of atomic nuclei; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Walton] (51). [WW/BD/FP]

CURIE, Marie [Maria Sklowdowska]

chemist, physicist; Warsaw, Poland, 11/7/1867-7/4/34; studies of radioactivity, especially in radium (02-10); Nobel Prize in Physics [with husband Pierre and Antoine H. Becquerel] (03); work on beta rays; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (11); pioneering of radioactivity in medicine. [WW/BD]

DIRAC, Paul Adrien Maurice

physicist; Bristol, England, 8/8/02-10/20/84; mathematics of relativistic electron (28); Nobel Prize in Physics [with Erwin Schrodinger] (33); prediction of positron, initiating investigation of antimatter. [WW/FP/DS]


theoretical physicist; Ulm, Germany, 3/14/1879-4/18/55; work an Brownian motion, quantum mechanics, idea of photons, Special Theory of Relativity, particle-like properties of light, influence of gravity on light, relationship of mass and energy (all 05); photoelectric effect, radiation theory; General Theory of Relativity, new theory of gravitation (16); Nobel Prize in Physics (21); one of most original and influential physicists of 20th century. [WW/BD/FP]

FERMI, Enrico

physicist; Rome, Italy, 9/29/01-11/28/54; statistical [Thomas-Fermi] model of the atom (28); work on neutrino emission, radioactivity; first nuclear transmutation of heavy elements; Nobel Prize in Physics (38); first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain-reaction, marking beginning of nuclear age (12/2/42); work on atomic bomb, Los Alamos. [WW/BD]

FLEMING, Sir Alexander

bacteriologist; Lochfield, Scotland, 8/6/1881-3/11/55; discovery of first known bacteriolytic enzyme, lysozyme (22), showing ``magic bullet'' of pathology was possible; discovery of penicillin (28); Nobel Prize in Medicine [with Ernst B. Chain, Lord Howard W. Florey] (45). [WW/BD]

FREUD, Sigmund

psychoanalyst, psychiatrist; Freiberg, Moravia, 5/6/1856-9/23/39; theory and technique of psychoanalysis (1895-1906); concepts of id/ego/superego, dynamic subconscious, repression, libido, Oedipus complex, etc., extremely influential in western thought; popularized psychiatry and psychology. [WW/BD]


physicist; Wurzburg, Germany 12/5/01-2/1/76; establishment of quantum mechanics; work on quantum theory, atomic structure; Uncertainty Principle (27), overturning idea of predictable certainty for one of statistical probability; Nobel Prize in Physics (32). [WW/BD]

HOLMES, Arthur

geologist; Hebburn, England, 1/14/1890-9/20/65; development of radioactivity methods for dating rocks; first quantitative time scale for the geologic record (11,13) and estimate of age of Earth. [WW/CD]

HUBBLE, Edwin Powell

astronomer; Marshfield, MO, 11/20/1889-9/28/53; work on classification of galaxies, absolute magnitudes and distance measurements of nebulae, Hubble's Law (29); observational evidence of expanding universe. [WW/BD/WA]

JUNG, Carl Gustav

psychologist, psychiatrist; Kesswil, Switzerland, 7/26/1875-6/6/61; founding of analytical psychology; word association test, concepts of complexes, collective unconscious (12), archetypes, introvert/extrovert (23). [WW/BD]

KREBS, Sir Hans Adolf

biochemist; Hildesheim, Germany, 8/25/00-11/22/81; discovery of ornithine cycle of urea synthesis in liver (32), Krebs [tricarboxylic acid] cycle (37), major metabolic pathway in animals; Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology [with Fritz A. Lipmann] (53). [WW/BD]


physicist; Vienna, Austria, 11/7/1878-10/27/68; studies of beta and gamma radiation, nuclear isomerism; explanation [with Otto Robert Frisch] of Otto Hahn's neutron irradiation of uranium, elucidating process of fission (39); prediction of possibility of chain reaction, leading to work on atomic bomb. [WW/BD]

MORGAN, Thomas Hunt

geneticist, embryologist; Lexington, KY, 9/25/1866-12/4/45; chromosome theory of inheritance, explaining mechanism behind Mendelian genetics; chromosome mapping [in Drosophila]; Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (33). [WW/BD]


physicist; New York, NY, 4/22/04-2/20/67; work in quantum theory, neutron stars; prediction of positron; supervision of atomic bomb development at Los Alamos (43-45). [WW/BD]

PLANCK, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig

physicist; Kiel, Germany, 4/23/1858-10/4/47; origination of quantum theory (01), creating division bewteen classical and modern physics; Plank's constant, quantum of action; calculation of Boltzmann's constant; research in entropy, radiation of heat, mechanics; Nobel Prize in Physics (18). [WW/BD]


physicist; Spring Grove, New Zealand, 8/30/1871-10/19/37; theory of successive transformations [with Frederick Soddy] (03), abolishing idea of permanence of atoms; identification of alpha, beta radiation; determination of Avogadro's number and elementary charge; nuclear theory of the atom; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (08); first observation of artificial transmutation, in alpha particle bombardment of nitrogen. [WW/BD]

WEGENER, Alfred Lothar

geophysicist, meteorologist; Berlin, Germany, 1/11/1880-11/??/30; study of atmospheric thermodynamics; hypothesis of continental drift, Pangaea (12); description of mountain building in terms of continental drift; first serious study of what would evolve into theory of plate tectonics. [WW/BD/CD]

More 20th-century scientists (1900-c.1945)

BEEBE, Charles William

naturalist; Brooklyn, NY, 7/29/1877-6/4/62; studies in ornithology, ichthyology, evolution; invention of bathysphere; studies of ocean depths, descent to 3028 ft. off Bermuda (34). [??]

BOAS, Franz

anthropologist; Minden, Westphalia, 7/9/1858-12/21/42; ``father of American anthropology''; studies in physical anthropolgy, ethnology, methodology in anthropology, statistical analysis in biometrics, linguistics, archaeology. [??]

CANNON, Walter Bradford

physiologist; Prairie du Chien, WI, 10/19/1871-10/1/45; concepts of homeostasis and fight-flight response of body under stress (15,29); Studies of adrenal glands, hormone secretion, stomach and intestinal system, chemistry of nerve impulses, traumatic shock; discovery of sympathin hormone. [??]

CAROTHERS, Wallace Hume

chemist; Burlington, IA, 4/27/1896-4/29/37; invention of nylon (35), neoprene, synthetic rubbers; studies on plastics, dicarboxylic acids. [??]

GODDARD, Robert Hutchings

physicist; Worchester, MA, 10/5/1882-8/10/45; fundamental theory of rocket flight (14-16); first liquid-fuel rocket (26), instrument- bearing rocket (29); work on auto-steering systems, multistage rockets; 214 patents in rocketry. [??]

HAHN, Otto

chemist; Frankfort-am-Main, Germany, 3/8/1897-7/28/68; discovery of protactinium [with Lise Meitner] (17), several transuranium elements; work on beta emission, nuclear fission; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (44) for splitting of uranium atom, work on chain-reaction prinicples. [??]

HESS, Victor Francis

physicist; Waldstein, Austria, 6/24/1883-12/18/64; discovery of cosmic rays; work on atmospheric electricity, radioactivity, alpha emission in radium; Nobel Prize in Physics (36) for discovery of cosmic radiation. [??]

HOPKINS, Sir Frederick Gowland

biochemist; Eastbourne, England, 6/30/1861-5/16/47; isolation of typtophane (01); concept of accessory food factors [vitamins] (06); explanation of role of lactic acid in muscular contraction (07) [with Walter M. Fletcher]; discovery of glutathione, work on oxidizing enzymes; Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine [with Christiaan Eijkman] (29). [??]

KEYNES, John Maynard

economist; Cambridge, England, 6/5/1883-4/21/46; economic theories of large-scale government planning within free-market system; ideas of flexible government spending, distribution of wealth through social programs, progressive taxes; consultation with US leaders on Depression recovery policy, with Britain on post-WWII credit negotiations. [??]

LAWRENCE, Ernest Orlando

physicist; Canton, SD, 8/8/01-8/27/58; invention of cyclotron (31); transmutation of elements, artificial radioactivity; Nobel Prize in Physics (39) for cyclotron; enabling of clinical use of neutron in cancer therapy; production of radioiodine for medical use; isolation of uranium-235, used in atomic bomb. [WW]

MILLIKAN, Robert Andrews

physicist; Morrison, IL, 3/22/1868-12/19/53; isolation of electron and measurement of elementary charge (07-12); work on photoelectric effect and determination of Plank's constant (16); Nobel Prize in Physics (23); studies of cosmic rays (34), which he named. [WW/BD]


geologist; Volosko, Istria, 1/23/1857-12/18/36; studies of earthquake wave patterns (09); idea that Earth's structure is layered; described sharp separation between outer and inner layers [Mohorovicic discontinuity]. [WW]

OBERTH, Hermann Julius

physicist; Sibiu, Transylvania, 6/25/1894-??; rocket research which led to V-2; books on rocketry, aeronautics, space flight, interplanetary travel. [WW]

PICCARD, Auguste

physicist; Basel, Switzerland, 1/28/1884-3/25/62; studied stratosphere and ocean depths; numerous balloon ascents; developed airtight gondola in which he set record heights (31-32); studied cosmic rays, electricity, radioactivity in atmosphere; invented bathyscaphe (48) in which he set record depths. [??]

POWELL, Cecil Frank

physicist; Tonbridge, England, 12/5/03-8/9/69; use of photographic emulsions in studying cosmic rays, particle scattering (39); discovery, using this method, of pi-meson [pion] and mu-meson [muon] (47) [with G. P. S. Occhialini, C. M. G. Lattes]; Nobel Prize in Physics (50). [WW/BD/FP]


chemist; Worms, Germany, 3/23/1881-9/9/65; discovery of ketene; studies of polymerization; pioneered idea that high polymers are macromolecules held together by valency bonds; Staudinger equation relating polymer viscosity to molecular weight; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (53). [??]

WIENER, Norbert

mathematician; Columbia, MO, 11/26/1894-3/18/64; mathematical theory in relativity, quantum theory, Brownian motion (20); study of feedback control, application to brain processes; statistical analysis of communication flow; foundation of cybernetics [science of control, communication, and organization]. [WW/BD]

Some 20th-century scientists (c.1945-1990)

BAADE, Walter

astronomer; Schrottinghausen, Germany, 3/24/1893-6/25/60; proposal of two populations of stars [blue and red] (44); resolution of nucleus of Andromeda Nebula (48); development of a period-luminosity curve for Cepheid variables, doubling the estimated distances to nearby galaxies, and reconciling paradox of a younger universe than Earth (52); first discovery [with Rudolph L. B. Minkowski] of discrete radio source in space, Cygnus A (53). [MG/WW]


physicist; Madison, WI, 5/23/08-1/30/91; invention of transistor at Bell Labs [with William Shockley, Walter H. Brattain] (47); Nobel Prize in Physics [with Shockley, Brattain] (56); theoretical explanation of low temperature superconductivity [with Leon N. Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer] (57); Nobel Prize in Physics [with Cooper, Schrieffer] (72); mathematical methods also applied to study of nuclear structure, elementary particles. [MG/WA/WW/FP/CB]

COUSTEAU, Jacques-Yves

oceanographer; Brest, France, 6/11/10-6/25/97; invention of aqualung (43); first color pictures underwater; invention of underwater TV process (45); numerous undersea expeditions and TV specials up to the present. [WW/CB]

CRICK, Francis Harry Compton

biologist; Northampton, England, 6/8/16-; deduction of double-helical structure of DNA [with James D. Watson], explaining its ability to copy itself (53); Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology [with Watson, Maurice H. F. Wilkins] (62); proposal of triplet base coding of amino acids. [WW/MG]

FEYNMAN, Richard Phillips

physicist; New York, NY, 5/11/18-2/15/88; path integral or ``sum over histories'' approach to quantum mechanics (42); work on atomic bomb at Los Alamos (43-45); Feynman diagrams; development of modern theory of quantum electrodynamics (48) [independent of Julian S. Schwinger, Sin-Itiro Tomonaga]; atomic explanation of behavior of liquid helium [from theory of Lev Davydovich Landau] (c.53); work on beta decay [with Murray Gell-Mann]; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Schwinger, Tomonaga] (65); development of quark-parton model [independently of Gell-Mann]; work on Challenger Commission (86). [WW/YC/MG/YF]

FRISCH, Karl von

zoologist; Vienna, Austria, 11/20/1886-6/12/82; work on color sense and hearing in fish; studies of color sense, polarized light perception (49), smell and taste in bees; establishment of ``waggle dance'' as method of bee communication (50's); Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (73) [with Konrad Lorenz, Nikolaas Tinbergen]. [MG/WW/WA/CB]

GABOR, Dennis [Denes]

physicist, engineer; Budapest, Hungary, 6/5/00-2/8/79; invention of holography (47), sonography, plasma lamp; papers on high speed oscillography, electron microscopy, communication and information theory, optics; work on interference microscopy; Nobel Prize in Physics (71). [BD/WW]

GAMOW, George

physicist; Odessa, Russia, 3/4/04-8/20/68; ``nuclear fluid'' hypothesis, which led to fusion/fission theory; work on beta-decay [with Edward Teller], stellar evolution; big bang theory [with Ralph A. Alpher] (48) and prediction of fossil radiation [later found by Arno A. Penzias, Robert W. Wilson]; proposal of a genetic code (55). [MG/ST/WW/FP/PT]


physicist; New York, NY, 9/15/29-; proposal of ``strangeness'' property of particles [independently of Kazuhiko Nishijima], law of conservation of strangeness (53); new classification system for particles [the ``eightfold way''] (61); development of theory of quarks [which he named]; Nobel Prize in Physics (69). [MG/SH/FP]


ethologist, primatologist; London, England, 4/3/34-; studies of chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Game Reserve, Tanzania, Africa (60-present); discovery of tool-making, ``gang-warfare'', many other aspects of chimp behavior. [WB]

HAWKING, Stephen William

theoretical physicist; Oxford, England, 1/8/42-; work on black holes, cosmology; proof [with Roger Penrose] that time had a beginning and that the universe began in a singularity [i.e., proof of big bang] (68); proposal of primordial mini-black holes; proposal that black holes emit particles [Hawking radiation] and can explode [white holes] (73); efforts toward quantum gravity. [SH/CB]

LIBBY, Willard Frank

chemist; Grand Valley, CO, 12/17/08-9/8/80; studies in radioactive chemstry, natural tritium; development of carbon-14 dating technique (c.47); Nobel Prize in Chemistry (60). [WW/MG/PT]

PAULING, Linus Carl

chemist, physicist; Portland, OR, 2/28/01-??/??/94; x-ray diffraction studies on crystal structure in molecules; work on chemical bonding, protein structure; first correct three-dimensional model of a protein molecule (50) [with R. B. Corey]; discovery [with Corey] of alpha-helical structure in proteins (51); molecular, hereditary explanation of sickle-cell anemia (c.52); Nobel Prize in Chemistry (54); molecular theory of general anesthesia (61); Nobel Peace Prize [for efforts toward nuclear test ban treaty] (63). [MG/WW]

SANGER, Frederick

chemist; Rendcombe, England, 8/13/18-; first determination of amino acid sequence of a protein [insulin] (50); deduction of molecular structure of insulin (55); development of dideoxy method of DNA sequencing (77). [:MG/TH]

TOWNES, Charles Hard

physicist; Greenville, SC, 7/28/15-; studies in microwave spectroscopy; invention of maser (54); fundamental work [with Arthur L. Schawlow] on lasers; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Nicolai G. Basov, Aleksandr M. Prokhorov] (64). [MG/WW]

WATSON, James Dewey

zoologist, biochemist; Chicago, IL, 4/6/28-; deduction of double-helical structure of DNA [with Francis H. C. Crick] (53); Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology [with Crick, Maurice H. F. Wilkins] (62); research in RNA and protein synthesis. [WW/MG]


physicist; New York, NY, 5/3/33-; work in particle physics, cosmology; unification of weak and electromagnetic forces [independently of Abdus Salam] (67); Nobel Prize in Physics [with Salam, Sheldon L. Glashow] (79). [SH/WW/FP]

WILKINS, Maurice Hugh Frederick

biochemist; Pongaroa, New Zealand, 12/15/16-; x-ray diffraction studies of DNA; proposal of helical structure of DNA and measurement of helix dimensions; deduction from density measurements [independently of James D. Watson, Francis H. C. Crick] of double-helical structure (53); Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [with Watson, Crick] (62); studies in light microscopy; development of ``electron trap'' theory of phosphorescence. [MG]

WILSON, John Tuzo

geologist; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 10/24/08-??/??/93; popularization of continental drift ideas (63); development of theory of crustal plates, plate tectonics (65); discovery of transform faults (65); studies of structure and growth of continents, geology of ocean basins. [WW/CD/DC]

YANG, Chen Ning

physicist; Hofei, China, 9/22/22-; proposal [with Tsung-Dao Lee] that parity not conserved in weak interactions (56); description [with Lee] of several experiments [performed by others] which confirmed non-conservation of parity; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Lee] (57). [MG]

More 20th-century scientists (c.1945-1990)


biochemist, writer; Petrovichi, Russia, 1/2/20-??; popularization of science and technology in hundreds of books and articles. [WW]

BARR, Murray Llewellyn

anatomist; Belmont, Ontario, Canada, 6/20/08-??; discovery of Barr bodies [with Ewart G. Bertram] (49); research on sex chromosome abnormalities; development of diagnostic tests for sex chromosome-related disorders. [MG/WW]

CALVIN, Melvin

chemist; St. Paul, MN, 8/8/11-??; tracing of the path of carbon in photosynthesis (c.48-57); Nobel Prize in Chemistry (61); fundamental work in organic chemistry. [MG/WW]


physicist; San Francisco, CA, 7/10/20-; discovery of antiproton (early 50's), which was predicted by Paul A. M. Dirac in 1930; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Emilio Segre] (59). [MG/WW]

CHU, Ching-Wu [Paul]

physicist; Hodnam, China, 12/2/41-; establishment of superconductivity above 90 degrees K (86); work in high pressure-low temperature studies, dielectrics, novel materials, magnetic recording. [??/FP]

CORMACK, Allan MacLeod

physicist; Johannesburg, South Africa, 2/23/24-; development [with G. N. Hounsfield] of Computer Aided Tomography [CAT scan]; studies in medium energy nucleus-nucleon [proton or neutron] and nucleon-nucleon scattering; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [with Hounsfield] (79). [WW/WA]

ELSASSER, Walter Maurice

geophysicist; Mannheim, Germany, 3/20/04-??; formulation of ``dynamo'' theory of Earth's magnetic field (58), explaining permanence and secular variation of field; studies in magnetohydrodynamics, atmospheric circulation. [MG]

ENDERS, John Franklin

microbiologist; West Hartford, CT, 2/10/1897-9/8/85; culturing of poliomyelitus virus in test tube [with Frederick C. Robbins, Thomas H. Weller], proving virus not neurotropic (48); Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (54); isolation [with T. C. Peebles] of measles virus (54); development [with Samuel Katz, Milano Milovanic] of live-virus measles vaccine (62). [MG/WW/CB]

EWING, William Maurice

geophysicist; Lockney, TX, 3/12/06-5/4/74; work in earthquake seismology, paleoclimatology [including ice age theory]; studies of sound propagation in oceans (48), gravity measurements, geothermal measurements, ocean floor sedimentation, ocean ridges, ocean floor mapping; determination of crustal thickness of ocean floor (49); photography of ocean depths; discovery of deep-ocean marine life; development of instruments for ocean monitoring. [MG/WW]

GLASER, Donald Arthur

physicist; Cleveland, OH, 9/21/26-??; invention of bubble chamber (c. 53), which led to discovery of many new elementary particles; Nobel Prize in Physics (60); work in applying physics to molecular biology. [MG]

GREENSTEIN, Jesse Leonard

astronomer; New York, NY, 10/15/09-??; spectroscopic analysis of composition of stars; work in radio astronomy; studies of origin of the elements, interstellar magnetic fields, quasi-stellar radio sources (64). [MG]

HESS, Harry Hammond

geologist; New York, NY, 5/24/06-8/25/69; discovery of Mariana Trench [deepest on Earth] (45); studies of submarine geology, gravity anomalies, island arcs, rock-forming minerals; proposal of ``geopoetry'' hypothesis, identifying convection currents and rising lava as causes of seafloor spreading at mid-oceanic ridges (62). [CD/DC/WW/TT]

HUXLEY, Andrew Fielding

physiologist; Hampstead, England, 11/22/17-??; explanation [with Alan L. Hodgkin] of ionic mechanism of nerve impulses; study of muscle contraction. [MG]

KENDREW, John Cowdery

molecular biologist; Oxford, England, 3/24/17-??; first determination of structure of a protein, myoglobin, in general (57) and in atomic detail [by x-ray diffraction analysis] (59); confirmation of alpha-helical structure [first described by Linus C. Pauling]; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [with Max F. Perutz] (62). [MG]


biochemist; Brooklyn, NY, 3/3/18-??; discovery of DNA polymerase, providing enzymatic mechanism for replication of DNA (55); Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology [with Severo Ochoa] (59); studies of coenzyme synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, metabolic pathways. [MG]

KOUWENHOVEN, William Bennett

electrical engineer; Brooklyn, NY, 1/13/1886-??; studies of the electricity of the body; development of defibrilators; method of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (59). [MG]


mathematician, theoretical physicist; ??, ??-; mathematical proof of physical singularities [matter condensed into a single point]; proof [with Stephen W. Hawking] that time had a beginning and that the universe began in a singuarity [i.e., proof of big bang] (68); proposal that rotating black holes can lose energy through particle pair-creation at event horizon (69). [SH]

PENZIAS, Arno Allan

physicist; ??, ??/??/26-; discovery [with Robert W. Wilson] of cosmic microwave background radiation (63), relic of big bang [predicted by George Gamow in 1948]; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Penzias] (78). [FP/BH]

RIGGS, Lorrin Andrews

psychologist; Harpoot, Turkey, 6/11/12-??; electroretinogram; vision studies; physiological nystagmus [high-frequency movements of eye]; negative adaptation of vision. [MG/PP]


physicist; ??, ??/??/34-; discovery [with Simon van der Meer, others] of sub-atomic particles [W+, W-, Z] which transmit weak force of radioactive decay (83), confirming unified weak-electromagnetic theory of Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam; Nobel Prize in Physics [with van der Meer] (84). [SH]


astronomer; New York City, NY, ??/??/34-12/20/96; popularization of science through articles, books and Cosmos TV series (80); work on U.S. interplanetary missions and Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence [SETI]; research on origins of life and its possibility on other planets, greenhouse effect of Venus, and ``nuclear winter''. [CN/SA]

VAN ALLEN, James Alfred

physicist; Mt. Pleasant, IA, 9/7/14-??; discovery of Earth's Van Allen radiation belts (c.58), magnetosphere; high-altitude and space research; study of cosmic radiation above atmosphere. [MG/WW]

VINE, Fred J.

geophysicist;??, ??-??; proposal [with Drummond Matthews] that spreading seafloor has recorded geomagnetic reversals (63); demonstration [with John Tuzo Wilson] of magnetic pattern symmetry in actual ridges (65-66); correlation of magnetic reversals from oceanic ridges, land rocks. [DC]

WHIPPLE, Fred Lawrence

astronomer; Red Oak, IA, 11/5/06-??; research on comets, meteors, solar system and stellar evolution, upper-atmosphere studies; discovery of six comets; development of ``dirty-snowball'' comet theory. [MG/WW]

WILSON, Robert Woodrow

physicist; Houston, TX, ??/??/36-; discovery [with Arno A. Penzias] of cosmic microwave background radiation (63), relic of big bang [predicted by George Gamow in 1948]; Nobel Prize in Physics [with Penzias] (78). [FP/BH]

Sources -- 20th-century scientists

A Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, 3rd ed. - Trevor Williams, ed. (John Wiley and Sons, 1982)
Current Biography Yearbook (various years)
Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics - William Glenn (Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1975)
Carl Sagan obituary at CNN's site []
Drifting Continents, Shifting Theories - ???
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 17: Supplement II - Frederic L. Holmes, ed. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990)
Fundamentals of Physics, 3rd ed. - David Halliday and Robert Resnick (John Wiley and Sons, 1988)
McGraw-Hill Modern Men of Science (McGraw-Hill, 1966)
Physics Today (various issues)
Carl Sagan obituary at Scientific American's site []
Stephen Hawking's Universe - John Boslough (Avon Books, 1985)
The History of Science and Technology: A Narrative Chronology, Vol. II - Edgardo Marcorini, ed. (Facts-on-File, 1988)
The Twentieth Century: An Almanac - Robert H. Ferrell, ed. (Bison Books, 1984)
Timetables of History / A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events - Bernard Grun (Simon and Schuster, 1975)
The Timetables of Science: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Science - Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch (Simon and Schuster, 1988)
The World almanac and Book of Facts 1987 - Mark S. Hoffman, ed. (Pharos Books, 1986)
World Almanac Biographical Dictionary (World Almanac, 1990)
World Who's Who In Science / From Antiquity to the Present - Allen G. Debus, ed. (Marquis-Who's Who, 1968)
What Do You Care What Other People Think? - Richard P. Feynman (Bantam Books, 1988)
``The Young Feynman'' - John A. Wheeler (Physics Today, Feb. 1989, p. 24-28)

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Donald Lancon Jr [e-mail me]
Last modified: Sat, Dec 21, 2002