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Peter Fowler

AKA Peter Howard Fowler

Born: 27-Feb-1923
Birthplace: Cambridge, England
Died: 8-Nov-1996
Location of death: Bristol, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Cosmic radiation

Military service: Royal Air Force (1942-46)

Physicist Peter Fowler researched primary cosmic radiation, measuring the presence of beryllium, boron, and lithium in cosmic rays. At University of Bristol, Fowler studied under Cecil Powell. Fowler developed improved methods for measuring cosmic rays, using high-altitude balloons and later jets, and investigated the radiation hazards of high-altitude supersonic flight. He studied radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power station explosion in Ukraine, and after the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing he developed a thermal neutron-based methodology for screening passengers' luggage. During his World War II service with the Royal Air Force, Fowler determined that British radar was being jammed by German transmissions, and he was able to identify the source of the jamming signal, which was then destroyed by bombing. His father was the physicist Ralph Howard Fowler, who determined the state of matter in white-dwarf stars, and his grandfather, physicist Ernest Rutherford, discovered the atomic nucleus.

Father: Sir Ralph Howard Fowler (physicist, b. 1889, d. 1944)
Mother: Eileen Mary Rutherford Fowler (dau. of Ernest Rutherford, b. 1901, d. 1930)
Brother: Eliot Patrick Fowler (physicist)
Sister: Elizabeth Rutherford Fowler Taylor
Sister: Ruth Eileen Fowler Edwards
Wife: Rosemary Hempson Brown Fowler (physicist, m. 1949, three daughters)

    High School: Winchester College (1940)
    University: PhD Physics, University of Bristol (1948)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Bristol (1948-61)
    Professor: Physics, University of Bristol (1961-96)

    Hughes Medal 1974
    Institute of Physics
    Royal Society 1964


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