BAINBRIDGE COLLECTION / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BAINBRIDGE COLLECTION / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Cockcroft and Gamow. Physicists John Cockcroft (1897-1967, left) and George Gamow (1904-1968) at work at a desk. Cockcroft performed the first artificial disintegration of an atomic nucleus when he split lithium by bombarding it with accelerated protons. The results confirmed Einstein's theory of mass-energy equivalence. Gamow was a proponent of the Big Bang theory, and showed how heavy elements could be formed in stars. He also helped to decipher the genetic code.
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