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Leon F. Curtiss

Portrait of Leon CurtissBorn in Adrian, Michigan January 5, 1895, he received his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 1917. Upon completion of his degree, he became an instructor in the Department of Physics. From 1922 to 1925 he was a National Research Fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. (Lord Rutherford presented his research at the Cavendish, dealing with beta spectral measurements on Radium-B and Radium-C, to the Cambridge Philosophical Society on February 2, 1925). He came to the National Bureau of Standards in 1926 and joined the Atomic Physics Section. He was made Chief of the Radioactivity Section in 1940 and Chief of the Neutron Measurements Section in 1949. During his career, he was engaged in studies of radioactivity, beta-particle spectra, photography of alpha-particle tracks and the development of Geiger counters. In 1960, he was appointed science coordinator of the U.S. Science Exhibit (U.S. contribution to the 1960 Worlds Fair in Brussels.) He retired from NBS in 1961. His book Introduction to Neutron Physics was published in 1959.

Leon Curtiss at the Cavendish Laboratory in 1923
Leon Curtiss at the Cavendish Laboratory in 1923.

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