Ernest Orlando Lawrence

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando


Born Aug. 8, 1901, in Canton, S.Dak.; died Aug. 27, 1958, in Palo Alto, Calif. American physicist.

Lawrence studied at the universities of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Chicago and at Yale University. Beginning in 1928 he worked at the University of California (as a professor from 1930), becoming director of the university’s Radiation Laboratory in 1936.

In 1930, Lawrence proposed the idea of the cyclotron and later constructed the first model with the American scientist N. Edlefsen. In subsequent years he supervised the construction of a number of accelerators in the United States. Lawrence studied nuclear reactions and artificial radioactivity. In 1933 he produced deuterons and studied the reactions induced by them. He also participated in the development of the atomic bomb and worked on problems of radiobiology and radiation therapy. A winner of a Nobel Prize (1939), he was a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1942).


“On the Production of High Speed Protons.” Science, 1930, vol. 72, no. 1867, pp. 376-77. (With N. E. Edlefsen.)
“The Production of High Speed Light Ions Without the Use of High Voltages.” Physical Review, 1932, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 19-35. (With M. S. Livingston.)


Seaborg, G. T. “E. O. Lawrence—Physicist, Engineer, Statesman of Science.” Science, 1958, vol. 128, no. 3332, pp. 1123-124.
Childs, H. An American Genius: The Life of Ernest Orlando Lawrence. New York, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron (a particle accelerator) and after whom two major Energy Department laboratories in Berkeley and Livermore, Calif.
Shank, director, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Dr.
Studies at Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.
RAGE was designed by computing scientists at Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.
Quantum Dot Corp has three other exclusive, world-wide licenses from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Melbourne.