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Carl David Anderson

Carl Anderson was born 3 September 1905 in New York. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in 1927. In 1930, Anderson earned his doctorate degree magna cum laude from Cal Tech. His thesis, based on the spatial distribution of electrons ejected from gases by X-rays, was published in Physical Review. Beginning in 1930, Anderson collaborated with his graduate advisor, Nobel laureate Professor Robert A. Millikan on a study of cosmic rays. Their research led to the discovery in 1932 of the "positron," a positively charged electron. Anderson continued to study radiation and fundamental subatomic particles and in 1933 produced proof that positrons are emitted from gamma rays. For this discovery, Carl Anderson received the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics. Anderson's discover of positrons greatly contributed to developing atomic bomb technology.Due to his significant accomplishments, he was invited to direct what soon became known as the Manhattan Project. Anderson declined the offer as he felt

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under-qualified and continued his work at Caltech on rocket technology. Throughout World War II he served on the National Defense Research Committee and with the Office of Scientific Research and Development.From 1963 to 1966, Anderson acted as Chairman of the Physics Section of the National Academy of Science. He was neither active, nor interested in political movements relating to nuclear weapons. However, Anderson did sign a petition opposing hydrogen bomb tests along with other members of the physics department at the Academy.Carl Anderson died on 11 January 1991.