University of California, Berkeley
August 8, 1901 - August 27, 1958
Election Year: 1934
Membership Type: Member
E.O. Lawrence was a physicist known for his development of the cyclotron in 1929. The cyclotron caused nuclear disintegration by accelerating protons at extremely high speeds in a spiral path between two electrodes. Lawrence won the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements". He was selected to work on the Manhattan Project during WWII where he modified the cyclotron to separate the isotope uranium-235 from uranium-238 via mass spectrometry. This allowed for a high yield of the isotope for bomb production.