Alfred Nier, US physicist

Alfred Nier, US physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Alfred Otto Carl Nier (1911-1994), US physicist. Nier initially studied electrical engineering, but then moved into graduate studies in physics. He worked on mass spectroscopy, moving from the University of Minnesota to Harvard University in 1936. His work in the 1930s on isotopes of uranium was later used in measurements of the age of the Earth. During World War II, he was part of the Manhattan Project, helping to monitor uranium production for the first atomic bombs. His awards include the Field and Franklin Award (1985) of the American Chemical Society, and membership of the National Academy of Sciences (1950).

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