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1932 A watershed year in nuclear physics



Joseph Reader, Charles W. Clark


1932 was the year for an amazing series of discoveries in physics. This started with the announcement of the discovery of deuterium, followed by the discoveries of the neutron and the positron, as well as artificial disintegration of nuclei by accelerators. This paper revisits these discoveries, focusing on how they were made and some of the longer term consequences. These include the development of nuclear fission, nuclear reactors, atomic weapons, and positron emission tomography.
Physics Today


deuterium, neutron, positron, nuclear physics, accelerators, nuclear fission, nuclear reactor


Reader, J. and Clark, C. (2013), 1932 A watershed year in nuclear physics, Physics Today, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created March 4, 2013, Updated July 19, 2023