Donald Arthur Glaser

Donald Arthur Glaser

American physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1960 for his invention and development of the bubble chamber, a research instrument used to observe the behaviour of subatomic particles.
After graduating from Case Institute of Technology, Cleveland, in 1946, Glaser attended California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, where he received his Ph.D. in physics in 1949, then began teaching at the University of Michigan, where he was professor of physics until 1959. There he conceived the idea for the bubble chamber, which has become a widely used instrument because it allows precise measurement of the paths of subatomic particles. At the age of 34, Glaser was one of the youngest scientists ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize. In 1959 he joined the staff of the University of California at Berkeley, where he became professor of physics and molecular biology in 1964.

Peter Galison, "Bubble Chambers and the Experimental Workplace," in Peter Achinstein and Owen Hannaway (eds.), Observation, Experiment, and Hypothesis in Modern Physical Science (1985), pp. 309-373, recounts Glaser's development of the bubble chamber and his subsequent migration from physics into molecular biology.

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