Rainwater, James, 1917–86, American physicist, Ph.D. Columbia, 1946. After working on the Manhattan Project as a student during World War II, he became a professor of physics at Columbia in 1952. His theory that not all atomic nuclei are spherical was verified experimentally by Danish physicists Aage N. Bohr and Benjamin R. Mottelson. For their work the three researchers shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics. Rainwater also received the Atomic Energy Commission's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Prize for Physics in 1963.
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Rainwater, (Leo) James(1917–86) physicist; born in Council, Ida. He taught at Columbia University (1939–42), worked on the Manhattan Project (1942–46), then returned to Columbia (1946–86). With Aage Bohr and B. R. Mottelson, he produced a nuclear model unifying the two prevailing theories of nuclear structure. The three shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in physics for this work.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.