Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas, 1897–1967, English physicist, educated at the Univ. of Manchester and St. John's College, Cambridge. He was a fellow of St. John's College (1928–46) and professor of natural philosophy at Cambridge (1939–46). After serving (1941–44) as chief superintendent of the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment, he directed (1944–46) the atomic energy division of the National Research Council of Canada and became (1946) the director of the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment. The 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Cockcroft and E. T. S. Walton for their pioneering work in transmuting atomic nuclei by bombarding elements with artificially accelerated atomic particles. He was knighted in 1948.
See B. Cathcart, The Fly in the Cathedral (2004).
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