Science: Nobelmen of 1951

The Swedish Academy of Science took full note of the Atomic Age this year with its Nobel Prize awards. Both physics and chemistry prizes went to key figures in the early developments of the new scientific era.

¶ The physics prize was divided between Britain's Sir John D. Cockcroft and Ulsterman E.T.S. Walton. Working as a team at Cambridge, England, they built a high-voltage machine in 1932, seven years before the discovery of uranium fission, which smashed lithium atoms, turning each into two helium nuclei and a powerful jolt of energy. The Cockcroft-Walton reaction is inefficient, but the energy that it produces...

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