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18.04.2018
Born on this day in 1911 in Austria, Maurice Goldhaber was an award-winning nuclear and particle physicist. He made one of his first major contributions while at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory: Working in collaboration with James Chadwick, Goldhaber proposed using photodisintegration to split the nucleus of the newly discovered deuterium atom into a proton and a neutron in order to measure the neutron’s mass. After earning his PhD in 1936, Goldhaber went to the US, where he accepted a faculty position at the University of Illinois. In 1950 he joined Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he would remain for the rest of his career, serving as director from 1961 to 1973. In the 1950s he and colleagues conducted a revolutionary tabletop experiment that demonstrated that the neutrino spins in only one direction and therefore violates the principle of mirror symmetry. Goldhaber was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1983, the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1991, and the Enrico Fermi Award in 1998. He died at age 100 in 2011. (Photo credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection)

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