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Leo Szilard and Ernest O. Lawrence


Leo Szilard (left) talks with Ernest O. Lawrence (right) at the American Physical Society meeting in Washington D.C., on April 27, 1935. The man in the background at upper left may be Walter Zinn.
Photo from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution; used by permission. If you accept these usage-restrictions, you may download this photo for personal non-commercial use only.

American physicist Ernest Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel Prize for inventing the cyclotron. Credit went to Lawrence, but Szilard invented it first. Szilard filed a German patent application on the cyclotron on January 5, 1929. Lawrence conceived the idea independently several months later. Lawrence's American patent application was not filed until January 26, 1932.

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Gene Dannen / danneng@peak.org