Ernest Walton facts for kids

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Ernest Walton
Ernest Walton
Born 6 October 1903
Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Ireland
Died 25 June 1995(1995-06-25) (aged 91)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality British (Irish/Northern Irish)
Fields Physics
Institutions Trinity College Dublin
University of Cambridge
Methodist College Belfast
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Ernest Rutherford
Known for The first disintegration of an atomic nucleus by artificially accelerated protons ("splitting the atom")
Notable awards Hughes Medal (1938)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1951)

Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton (6 October 1903 – 25 June 1995) was an Irish physicist and Nobel laureate for his work with John Cockcroft with "atom-smashing" experiments done at Cambridge University in the early 1930s, and so became the first person in history to split the atom.

Ernest Walton died in Belfast on 25 June 1995, aged 91. He is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin.

Family life

Ernest Walton married Freda Wilson (1903–1983), daughter of an Irish Methodist minister, on 23 August 1934. They had five children, Dr Alan Walton (college lecturer in physics, Magdalene College, Cambridge), Mrs Marian Woods, Professor Philip Walton, Professor of Applied Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Jean Clarke and Winifred Walton. He was a longtime member of the board of governors of Wesley College, Dublin.


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