Powell, Cecil Frank

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Powell, Cecil Frank,

1903–69, British nuclear physicist, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1927. Powell joined the faculty at the Univ. of Bristol in 1927, was named Melville Wills Professor of Physics in 1948, and was appointed director of the Wills Physical Laboratory there in 1964. He was awarded the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering the study of nuclear particles using photographic emulsions. He used the technique to discover, in 1947, the pi-meson, or pionpion
or pi meson,
lightest of the meson family of elementary particles. The existence of the pion was predicted in 1935 by Hideki Yukawa, who theorized that it was responsible for the force of the strong interactions holding the atomic nucleus together.
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, a heavy subatomic particle, in the plates of cosmic rays. Powell's discovery helped to establish an orderly view of nuclear processes.

Powell, Cecil Frank


Born Dec. 5, 1903, in Tonbridge, Kent; died Aug. 9, 1969, in Milan, Italy. English physicist. Member of the London Royal Society (1949).

Powell graduated from Cambridge University and then worked for two years at the Cavendish Laboratory under E. Rutherford. From 1928 he worked at the University of Bristol; he became a professor in 1948. He was the director of the European expedition to launch sondes for the study of cosmic rays (Italy, 1952–61). Powell’s main works were in nuclear physics and the physics of elementary particles and cosmic rays. He was one of the initiators of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). Powell was chairman of the Pugwash Permanent Committee from 1967 to 1969. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950 for his development of the photonuclear emulsion technique and for his discovery of pions in cosmic rays (1947). He was a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958).


Nuclear Physics in Photographs. Oxford, 1947. (With G. P. S. Occhialini.)
In Russian translation:
“Mezony.” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1951, vol. 45, fasc. 1.
Issledovanie elementarnykh chastits folograficheskim metodom. Moscow, 1962. (With others.)


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