Carl David Anderson
Carl David Anderson (September 3, 1905 – January 11, 1991) was an American physicist. He is best known for his discovery of the positron in 1932, an achievement for which he received the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics, and of the muon in 1936.
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- The atom can't be seen, yet its existence can be proved. And it is simple to prove that it can't ever be seen. It has to be studied by indirect evidence — and the technical difficulty has been compared to asking a man who has never seen a piano to describe a piano from the sound it would make falling downstairs in the dark.
- As quoted in Carl Anderson. Some notes about his life and work at Caltech. The first of a series of biographical sketches of Caltech faculty members. Engineering and Science, Vol. 15:1 (October 1951)
- The ideal student would be one who was not working for grades but was working because he was interested in the work and not trying to compete with fellow students.
- Interview with Carl Anderson (1979). Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives, Pasadena, California.
Quotes about Anderson
- ... Carl Anderson told me what life was like after he got his Ph.D. under Millikan in 1930. Dirac had proposed the existence of a partner to the electron, its antiparticle, and Carl wanted to find it by converting γ-rays found in the debris of cosmic rays into what we now call electron-positron pairs. He needs to get a big magnet, and build a cloud chamber with a lead plate and camera. When he asks Millikan for money, Millikan reaches into his pocket and gives him some. Carl goes to a couple of junk shops for supplies and gets to work. When the magnet, cloud chamber, and camera are finished, Carl puts them, together with food and a sleeping bag, into his old Model T Ford, and drives up the unpaved Mount Wilson Observatory road into the San Gabriel Mountains behind Pasadena. Carl is on his way to discovering the positron.