Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901–58, American physicist, b. Canton, S. Dak., grad. Univ. of South Dakota, 1922, Ph.D. Yale, 1925. Affiliated with the Univ. of California from 1928 onward, he became a professor in 1930 and director of its radiation laboratory in 1936. For his invention (1930) and development of the cyclotron (see particle accelerator) and his researches in atomic structure and transmutation he received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics. With the cyclotron he produced artificially radioactive elements and neutrons useful in nuclear, chemical, and biological research.
See G. Herken, Brotherhood of the Bomb (2002).