Wilson, Charles Thomson Rees, 1869–1959, Scottish physicist, educated at Manchester and Cambridge universities. He was Jacksonian professor of natural philosophy at Cambridge from 1925 to 1934. Noted for his studies of atmospheric electricity, he devised a method for the protection of barrage balloons from lightning during World War II. He invented the Wilson cloud chamber for studying the activity of ionized particles. For this invention he shared with A. C. Compton, a U.S. physicist, the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics.