Luis Alvarez

From Academic Kids

Portrait of Luis Alvarez

Luis Walter Alvarez (June 13, 1911September 1, 1988) of San Francisco, California, USA, was a famed physicist who worked at the University of California, Berkeley.

Alvarez won the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis". Specifically, his research made it possible to record and study the short lived particles created in particle accelerators.

Alvarez and his student Lawrence Johnston designed the detonators for the spherical implosives used on the Trinity and Nagasaki bombs.[1] (http://www.lanl.gov/worldview/welcome/history/21_implosion.html)

With geologist son Walter, in 1980, Luis proposed the asteroid-impact theory to explain the iridium anomaly of the K-T extinction boundary. Ten years later, highly convincing evidence was presented showing that a huge impact crater called Chicxulub was, in fact, the "smoking gun" of the K-T boundary. This impact by an extraterrestrial body is now widely accepted as causing the extinction that killed the dinosaurs.

Alvarez also proposed a jet-recoil theory for the Kennedy assassination to explain why John F. Kennedy's head jerked backwards if Lee Harvey Oswald, shooting from behind the president, was the assassin.

Further reading

  • Alvarez, Luis W. Alvarez: Adventure of a Physicist, New York: Basic Books, 1987, ISBN 0465001157

External links

de:Luis Walter Alvarez es:Luis Walter lvarez he:לואיס אלוורז

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