A. Carl Helmholz biography

A. Carl Helmholz

Deceased Person

1915 – 2003


Who was A. Carl Helmholz?

August Carl Helmholz was an American nuclear physicist known for his contributions to high energy particle physics.

Helmholz was born in Evanston, Illinois on May 24, 1915. He attended the Shattuck School military academy in Faribault, Minnesota, following which he went to Harvard University for his undergraduate education. In 1936, Helmholz won a fellowship to study at the Cambridge University for one year. On the advice of his family neighbour and future Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez, Helmolz moved to the University of California, Berkeley for his graduate education. At Berkeley, he worked with Ernest Lawrence and Edwin McMillan at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory on radioactive materials. In 1942, Helmholz worked with the Manhattan Project for using cyclotron magnets to separate uranium which was later used in the development of the first atomic bomb.

Helmholz joined the UC Berkeley physics department as an assistant professor in 1943. He worked on synchrotron accelerators to study the properties of high-energy particle interactions. Helmholz along with Burton Moyer made one of the first measurements of resonances in subatomic physics in the pion-nucleon interaction. Over his career at Berkeley, Helmholz supervised more than sixty doctoral students. He also served as the chair of the UC Berkeley physics department from 1955 to 1962.


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May 24, 1915
Oct 29, 2003

on July 23, 2013

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