Bennett, Willard Harrison

Bennett, Willard Harrison

(1903–87) physicist, inventor; born in Findlay, Ohio. He received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan in 1928 and joined the Ohio State University faculty two years later. In the 1950s, he invented a device that produced a model of the Van Allen radiation belt. His radio frequency mass spectrometer, a device that measured the mass of atoms, first went into space in 1957 aboard the Russian satellite Sputnik.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.