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May- 27, 1897. Today is the birthday of Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, the Nobel laureate who created the nuclear fission energy.





May- 27, 1897.
Today is the birthday of Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, the Nobel laureate who created the nuclear fission energy.

Sir John Douglas Cockcroft was born on May 27, 1897 in Yorkshire, England. He served in the British army on the western front in World War I. Cockcroft studied electrical engineering at Manchester College of Technology. He later received a scholarship and studied at St. John's College, Cambridge. In 1924, Ernest Rutherford joined Cockcroft as a research student in his Cavendish laboratory. Cockcroft completed his doctoral thesis in 1928 under the supervision of Rutherford. During this time, he worked as assistant to the Russian physicist Peter Kapidza. Kapitsha was studying the physics of magnetic fields at very low temperatures. Cockcroft helped him develop the Ilium Liquidators.

He found that the Cockroft protons were capable of penetrating the boron nucleus with 300,000 electron volt energy. Cockroft and Walton worked for the next two years to develop their own speedometer. They were given a transformer. In 1932, the two used their accelerator to fight lithium and beryllium with high-powered buprotrans. They expected gamma rays as a result. But not available. But James Chadwick made the observation that they were nonsmokers. Cockcroft and Walton later thought of getting alpha particles. On April 14, 1932, they discovered alpha particles. They first reported artificial nuclear disintegration in the journal Nature.
3Li + p → 24

2He + 17.2 MeV
Cockroft – Walton developed the accelerator with Ernest Walton and Primark Olimpand. Cockroft and Walton invented a method of artificially splitting the nucleus with this concept. This is known as nuclear fission. This discovery, known as atomic fission, was awarded the Annual Award in 1938 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951. He won the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernest Walton for his study of the atomic nucleus. He is considered a pioneer in the creation of nuclear energy.

During World War II, Cockcroft was appointed Assistant Director of the Center for Scientific Research and conducted research on radar. He explored the technological possibilities of nuclear weapons. In 1940, he shared British technologies with American colleagues under the Dysart plan. As a result of this plan, the equipment needed to launch V-1 bombers was supplied from the United States to Britain in the latter part of the war. In May 1944, he was appointed director of the Montreal Laboratory. After the war, Cockcroft was appointed director of the Nuclear Research Institute (AERE). Gleep (GLEEP), the first nuclear reactor in Western Europe, opened here on August 15, 1947. From 1959 to 1967, he was the first faculty member of Cambridge Churchill College, and from 1961 to 1965, the Canberra Australian National University.

Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, the creator of nuclear fission, left the world on September 18, 1967, at the age of 70, at his home in Churchill College, Cambridge. He was buried in the same grave as his son Timothy's, in the parish of Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge. A memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey on October 17, 1967.

Information: Ramesh, Assistant Professor of Physics, Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti, Trichy.

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