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Philip Morrison

Philip Morrison was born in 1915 in New Jersey. Morrison earned his B.S. from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1936. He pursued graduate studies in theoretical physics at the University of California at Berkeley under the supervision of J. Robert Oppenheimer and earned his Ph.D. in 1940.

In 1942, Morrison joined the Manhattan Project, working at both the University of Chicago and the Los Alamos laboratory. At Los Alamos he participated in the Trinity test, the first test of an atomic bomb. He wrote an eyewitness report of his experience. Since then, Morrison has written and spoken out against nuclear war and the arms race.

In 1946, Morrison joined the physics faculty at Cornell University. He began teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1965. Morrison also taught at San Francisco State

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Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
National Academy of Sciences

University and the University of Illinois at Urbana.

In 1959, Morrison and Giuseppe Cocconi published a paper proposing the potential of microwaves in the search for interstellar communications. Since then he has been a strong advocate for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, as well as a leader in organizing numerous conferences on related topics, including several NASA symposia on SETI.

In 1994, Morrison received the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award and in 1997, he received the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement.

Morrison is well known for his numerous books, films, and television specials, including the film "Powers of Ten" and the PBS series "The Ring of Truth." He is currently Institute Professor, Emeritus and Professor of Physics, Emeritus at MIT. Morrison is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Philip Morrison died April 22, 2005.