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Luis Walter Alvarez: 1911-1988: Nuclear Physicist, Inventor, Educator

A Lifetime Of Useful Work


At his death from cancer in Berkeley on August 31, 1988, Alvarez left numerous discoveries and 22 patents, including a radio distance and direction indicator and the Tandem van de Graaff generator, a charge-altering electrostatic accelerator that was later produced commercially. He devised a color television system, a stabilizer for the binoculars and cameras marketed by Schwem Technologies, a variable-power lens for Polaroid and Humphrey Instruments, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower's personal indoor golf practice machine. He directed projects for Hewlett-Packard and served IBM's Science Advisory Committee. The Nobel-Prize winner's contributions to American science were profound, and his many awards reflect the appreciation of the scientific community in which he found his intellectual home.


Sources

Books


Almanac of Famous People, 6th ed. Gale Research, 1998.

Alvarez, Luis Walter. Adventures of a Physicist.Basic Books, 1987.

American Decades CD-ROM. Gale Research, 1998.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. Gale Research, 1998.

Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists. Gale Research, 1995.

Trower, Peter, ed. Discovering Alvarez: Selected Works of Luis W. Alvarez. University of Chicago Press, 1987.


Periodicals


Albuquerque Journal, September 23, 2001, p. B3.

American Scholar, October 1, 2000.

Hispanic, September 1, 1996.

Inter Press Service, November 12, 1999.

National Academy of Engineering, Vol. 5, Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press, 1992.

Physics Today, December 1987, pp. 83-84.

Science News, March 1, 1997.

Science World, November 17, 1997.

Sciences, July 1999.

Time, February 4, 2002, p. 13.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, October 1, 2001.


On-line


Biography Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC

Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group, 2000

Hall of Fame: Inventor Profile, http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/4.html.

http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1968/alva rez-bio.html

—Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: (Hugo) Alvar (Henrik) Aalto (1898–1976) Biography to Miguel Angel Asturias (1899–1974) BiographyLuis Walter Alvarez: 1911-1988: Nuclear Physicist, Inventor, Educator Biography - Early Laboratory Experience, Inventor And Researcher, A Professor Once More, A Lifetime Of Useful Work