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Ernest T. S. Walton

Ernest T. S. WaltonAKA Earnest Thomas Sinton Walton

Born: 6-Oct-1903
Birthplace: Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland
Died: 25-Jun-1995
Location of death: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland

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

Nationality: Ireland
Executive summary: Split the atom

Irish physicist Ernest T. S. Walton shared the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics with John Cockcroft, for their experiments culminating in the first artificial disintegration of an atomic nucleus without the use of a radioactive element (or in more common parlance, splitting the atom) in 1932. Their experiment required the design and construction of the first high-power particle accelerator, which Cockcroft and Walton assembled using automobile batteries and parts scavenged from a gasoline pump. Their success, converting mass into energy and thus effectively proving Albert Einstein's E=mc2 equation, ushered in the atomic era.

Father: John Arthur Walton (Methodist minister, b. 1875)
Mother: Mary Anna Elizabeth Sinton
Sister: Dorothy Letitia Walton (b. 1905)
Wife: Winifreda Wilson ("Freda", high school sweetheart, m. 1934, two sons, two daughters)
Son: Alan Walton (physicist)
Daughter: Jean Walton
Daughter: Marian Walton Woods
Son: Philip Walton (physicist)

    High School: Methodist College, Belfast, Ireland (1922)
    University: BS Mathematics and Experimental Science, Trinity College Dublin (1926)
    University: MS Mathematics and Science, Trinity College Dublin (1927)
    Scholar: Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University (1927-34)
    University: PhD Physics, Trinity College, Cambridge University (1931)
    Fellow: Trinity College Dublin (1934-46)
    Professor: Erasmus Smith's Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin (1946-74)

    Nobel Prize for Physics 1951 (with John Cockcroft)
    Hughes Medal 1938 (with John Cockcroft)
    Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
    Institute for Industrial Research and Standards
    Royal Dublin Society
    Royal Irish Academy
    Irish Ancestry


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