Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Robert Rathbun Wilson was born in 1914 in Frontier Wyoming, received an A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley, 1936, and after studying with Prof. Ernest O. Lawrence, a Ph. D. in 1940.

He participated in an early effort led by Enrico Fermi at Columbia University to build a nuclear reactor as part of a joint effort with Princeton University, where he was a lecturer and assistant professor, 1940-1942. He worked for Princeton University's reactor project, 1941-1942; becoming technical head of their isotope separation project, 1942-1943, and developing a uranium isotope-separating machine. He moved to Los Alamos Laboratory in 1943, one of the first to reside there, helping with early organization and formation of the Cyclotron Group, and becoming Head of the Research Division, 1944-1945. In 1945 he became Associate Professor of Physics at Harvard University where he designed the 150 MeV cyclotron and suggested radiological use of high-energy heavy particles for cancer therapy. He also worked on scattering of protons by protons to higher energies, using the cyclotron at the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley, 1946-1947.


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