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Maurice Shapiro

Maurice Shapiro studied physics with Arthur Compton, Enrico Fermi, Bruno Rossi, and John Wheeler at the University of Chicago. During the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, Shapiro led a group in the Ordnance Division and collaborated with John von Neumann on a hydrodynamics problem. In 1946, he served a Chair of the Association of Los Alamos Scientists, and lobbied for the international control of atomic energy after the war.

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In Oak Ridge, Shapiro mentored Admiral Rickover’s first nuclear submariners, and designed a power reactor. In 1949, he founded a cosmic-ray laboratory at the naval Research Laboratory in Washington, where he elucidated the composition of the cosmic rays. He and collaborators derived the source composition and “age” of the Galactic cosmic rays. In 1977, Shapiro founded the International School of Cosmic-ray Astrophysics in Erice, Italy, where he still serves as Director.