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Val Fitch

Val FitchAKA Val Logsdon Fitch

Born: 10-Mar-1923
Birthplace: Merriman, NE
Died: 5-Feb-2015
Location of death: Princeton, NJ
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Time not necessarily reversible

Military service: US Army (1943-46)

American physicist Val Fitch studied kaons, the unstable mesons produced as the result of high-energy particle collisions, and made his mark on science in experiments conducted with James W. Cronin beginning in 1963. The results of their experiments, published in 1964, showed that the laws of symmetry and conservation can be broken, and that when reactions are run in reverse, the action does not simply follow the opposite path of the original reaction. This has had a major impact on advanced physics, debunking long-standing scientific theories and showing that there are exceptions to the principles of CP symmetry (combination of C symmetry and P symmetry). Fitch and Cronin shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1980, and Fitch died in 2015.

Father: Fred B. Fitch (rancher)
Mother: Frances M. Logsdon (teacher)
Wife: Elise Cunningham (m. 1949, d. 1972, two sons)
Son: Alan Fitch
Wife: Daisy Harper Sharp (m. 1976, until his death, three stepchildren)

    High School: Gordon High School, Merriman, NE (1940)
    University: Chadron State College (attended 1940-43)
    University: BS Electrical Engineering, McGill University (1948)
    University: PhD Physics, Columbia University (1954)
    Teacher: Physics, Princeton University (1954-60)
    Professor: Physics, Princeton University (1960-76)
    Professor: Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor, Princeton University (1976-83)
    Professor: McDonnell Distinguished Univ. Prof. of Physics, Princeton University (1983-2005)

    E. O. Lawrence Award 1968
    Research Corporation Award 1968 (with James W. Cronin)
    Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute 1976 (with James W. Cronin)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1980 (with James W. Cronin)
    National Medal of Science 1993
    American Physical Society
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Physical Society President (1987-88)
    Associated Universities Board of Directors (1961-67)
    Associated Universities Board of Directors (1988-93, as Chairman, 1991-93)
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Coalition for Peace Action
    Dean for America
    Democratic National Committee
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    John Kerry for President
    Los Alamos National Laboratory (1944-47)
    Manhattan Project Lab technician (1944-46)
    National Academy of Sciences 1966
    Obama for America
    Science Debate 2008

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