Cormack, Allan MacLeod

Cormack, Allan MacLeod

Cormack, Allan MacLeod (məkloudˈ, côrˈmək), 1924–98, American physicist, b. Johannesburg, South Africa. After studying at the Univ. of Cape Town (B.S. physics, 1944, M.S. crystallography, 1945), Cambridge, and Harvard, Cormack became a professor at Tufts Univ. in 1958. His interest in X-ray technology led him to develop the theoretical foundations that made computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanning possible. He published his results in two papers in 1963–64, but these generated little interest until the first CAT scan machine, built under the leadership of Godfrey Hounsfield, was introduced in 1972. For their independent efforts, Cormack and Hounsfield shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
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Cormack, Allan MacLeod

(1924–  ) biophysicist, nuclear physicist; born in Johannesburg, South Africa (to Scottish immigrants). At the University of Cape Town (1946–57), he began research in radiology. He emigrated to Harvard (1956–57), then joined Tufts University (1957), where he tested mathematical models fundamental to the development of computerized axial tomography (CAT, or CT scanning), then pursued research in particle physics. For his contributions to CAT scanning as a diagnostic tool for tumor diagnosis, Cormack shared one-half the 1979 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.