Luis Walter Alvarez 1968 Born: 13 June 1911, San Francisco, CA, USA Died: 1 September 1988, Berkeley, CA, USA Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA Prize motivation: "for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis" Field: Particle physics
1979: From excess traces of iridium in late Cretaceous rocks, American scientist Luis Walter Alvarez theorizes that a large comet or asteroid struck the earth 65 million years ago, raising clouds of dust that reduced the amount od solar radiation penetrating the atmosphere and triggering the mass extinctions of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic life. Luis and Walter Alvarez at the K-T Boundary in Gubbio, Italy, 1981.
Alvarez Hypothesis: Origin and Evidence Parrish illustration of asteroid blastIn the late 1970's geologist Walter Alvarez, and his father, Nobel-prize winning physicist Luis Alvarez, identified an unusual clay layer at the K/T boundary in Italy
Luis Alvarez: Renaissance man. Polymath. Inspiration. Doer of amazing things. Very smily guy. Seriously, he is so happy! Which he should be. Because his accomplishments are amazing. It’s nice to find heroes in unexpected places … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Walter_Alvarez