George Cowan, Nuclear Scientist, Dies at 92Obituaries
George Cowan, a chemist who helped build the first atomic bomb, detect the first Soviet nuclear explosion and test the first hydrogen bomb, died on Friday at his home in Los Alamos, N.M. He was 92.
The Santa Fe Institute, a scientific research center that Dr. Cowan headed and helped found, announced the death.
For his many contributions, Dr. Cowan was awarded the federal Energy Department’s highest honor, the Enrico Fermi Award, and the highest honor given by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Los Alamos Medal. The citation on his Los Alamos award called him “the driving force in the early radiochemical evaluations of nuclear weapons.”
Dr. Cowan began thinking about the possibility of a bomb in 1938, when he brought a clipping about nuclear fission to his physics professor and asked him to talk about the possibility of a weapon based on splitting the atom. His professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts made a convincing argument that it would not happen, but when Dr. Cowan graduated three years later, the professor referred him to Eugene Wigner, a physicist at Princeton....
comments powered by Disqus
- The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- NYT publishes historians' plea for the revival of political history
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum