On This Day…
On the18 September 1967 Sir John Cockcroft died.
Cockcroft served in the Royal Horse Artillery in WW1, for 3 years as a signaller and then briefly as a lieutenant.
After the war he was involved in atomic research and with fellow researcher Ernest Walton transformed the nucleus of a lithium atom by bombarding it with high-energy particles. This provided the basis for nuclear fission. In WW2 he worked on radar and air defence and then headed the Canadian Atomic Energy project. In 1946 he became Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. With Walton, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951 for pioneering atomic work.