John Cockcroft Biography
(British Physicist and Winner of 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics)
Birthday: May 27, 1897 (Gemini)
Born In: Todmorden, England
John Cockcroft was a British Physicist who shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernest Walton for their work on splitting the atomic nucleus. Born in a family of cotton mill owners, he was a good student and chose to pursue scientific research. After having completed his school education, he started studying mathematics in Manchester University but he had to cut it short in order to contribute towards the war effort during the First World War. After the end of the war, he resumed his studies and studied electrical engineering at the College of Technology under Miles Walker. Thereafter, he took the Mathematical Tripos and then worked under Lord Rutherford in the Cavendish Laboratory. During his stint at the Cavendish Laboratory, he collaborated with another research scholar, Ernest Walton, and together they succeeded in transmuting lithium and boron by high energy protons. Their research was instrumental in the development of nuclear power. Subsequently, he went on to head the Canadian Atomic Energy project as well as the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. Throughout his career, Cockcroft worked in a variety of capacities for both his government and is understandably regarded as one of the most important figures in atomic research in the United Kingdom. Understandably, he won plenty of accolades for his stellar scientific career.