Wilson, C.T.R.

Wilson, C.T.R.

▪ British physicist
in full  Charles Thomson Rees Wilson 
born Feb. 14, 1869, Glencorse, Midlothian, Scot.
died Nov. 15, 1959, Carlops, Peeblesshire
 Scottish physicist who, with Arthur H. Compton (Compton, Arthur Holly), received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927 for his invention of the Wilson cloud chamber, which became widely used in the study of radioactivity, X rays, cosmic rays, and other nuclear phenomena.

      Wilson began studying clouds as a meteorologist in 1895. In an effort to duplicate the effects of certain clouds on mountaintops, he devised a way of expanding moist air in a closed container. The expansion cooled the air so that it became supersaturated and moisture condensed on dust particles.

      Wilson noted that when he used dust-free air the air remained supersaturated and that clouds did not form until the degree of supersaturation reached a certain critical point. He believed that in the absence of dust the clouds formed by condensing on ions (charged atoms or molecules) in the air. Hearing of the discovery of X rays, he thought that ion formation as a result of such radiation might bring about more intensive cloud formation. He experimented and found that radiation left a trail of condensed water droplets in his cloud chamber. Perfected by 1912, his chamber proved indispensable in the study of nuclear physics and eventually led to the development (by Donald A. Glaser in 1952) of the bubble chamber.

      From 1916 Wilson became involved in the study of lightning, and in 1925 he was appointed Jacksonian professor of natural history at the University of Cambridge. Applying his studies of thunderstorms, he devised a method of protecting British wartime barrage balloons from lightning, and in 1956 he published a theory of thunderstorm electricity.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wilson — se puede referir a: Contenido 1 Personas 1.1 Autores de nombres botánicos 2 En geografía 3 En medicina …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wilson — may refer to:People* Wilson (surname)In geography*List of peaks named Mount WilsonAustralia*Wilson, Western AustraliaCanada*Wilson Avenue (Toronto), Ontario **Wilson (TTC) subway stationPoland* Wilson Square ( Plac Wilsona ) in WarsawUnited… …   Wikipedia

  • Wilson — Wilson, Angus Wilson, Charles Thompson Rees Wilson, Colin Wilson, Colin St. John Wilson, Henry Maitland Wilson, James Harold Wilson, John Wilson, Kenneth …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wilson — Wilson, WI U.S. village in Wisconsin Population (2000): 176 Housing Units (2000): 69 Land area (2000): 1.550263 sq. miles (4.015163 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.550263 sq. miles (4.015163 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Wilson — bezeichnet: einen Familiennamen, siehe Wilson (Familienname) Wilson (Film), Spielfilm von Henry King aus dem Jahr 1944 Wilson Krankheit, eine Erkrankung Wilson Sporting Goods, amerikanischer Sportartikelhersteller in der Mathematik den nach John… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilson —   [wɪlsn],    1) Sir (seit 1980) Angus Frank Johnstone, englischer Schriftsteller, * Bexhill (County East Sussex) 11. 8. 1913, ✝ Bury (County Suffolk) 31. 5. 1991; Studium der Geschichte in Oxford, 1936 55 Bibliothekar am Britischen Museum, 1966… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • WILSON (J. H.) — WILSON JAMES HAROLD (1916 1995) Premier ministre de Grande Bretagne de 1964 à 1970, puis de 1974 à 1976. Né à Huddersfield, fils d’un agent électoral du Parti libéral (ancien agent électoral de Churchill), James Harold Wilson étudie à Wirral… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • WILSON (R.) — Robert WILS Robert Wilson se dit plus volontiers artiste visuel que metteur en scène, et, bien qu’il soit surtout connu pour son travail théâtral, il s’est aussi illustré dans le dessin, la peinture, la sculpture et la vidéo. C’est que l’image… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • WILSON (A.) — WILSON ANGUS (1913 1991) Doué d’un sens de l’humour féroce, admirablement servi par un don d’observation sans complaisance et par une clairvoyance psychologique redoutable, Angus Wilson cache sous les dehors pétillants d’un homme d’esprit la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • WILSON (E.) — Pendant un demi siècle, Wilson a dominé intellectuellement la scène littéraire aux États Unis, interprétant pour ses contemporains les multiples aspects des grands courants artistiques, sociaux et politiques qui ont modifié le visage de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • WILSON (T. W.) — WILSON THOMAS WOODROW (1856 1924) Après des études à Princeton et à l’université de Virginie, Thomas Wilson devient avocat. Mais ce métier ne lui convient pas. Il reprend ses études et enseigne l’histoire à Bryn Mawr (Pennsylvanie), puis la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”