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Owen Chamberlain
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Scientist
    (July 10, 1920-February 28, 2006)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Physicist
    Professor at University of California, Berkeley
    With Emilio Segre won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the antiproton (1959)
    Was later part of the team that found the anti-neutron
    In first grade, he was the only student in his class who could not write his own name.
    His mentor, Segre, first noticed him because he 'amused himself by finding flaws in my lectures.'
    During the Manhattan Project, he accidentally exposed himself to enough radiation that he had to take a leave of absence.
    His office was so cluttered with papers piled 'almost to the ceiling' that he could barely fit in and had to hold meetings with students in the hall.
    He used his Nobel Prize fame to promote his favorite causes (nuclear disarmament,ending the Vietnam War), while saying, 'I think that people in the public domain pay too much attention to [Nobel Prize] winners.'
    He was a magnet for students as he was approachable and had a knack for untangling complicated theories for the uninitiated.
    He would work alongside students late into the night on mundane tasks like carrying the lead bricks needed for shielding.
    He was a campus frisbee enthusiast.
    During a lecture tour of Japan, he visited Hiroshima to offer his personal apology in its Peace Memorial Park.
    He was a founder of the Special Opportunity Scholarship program to help talented but eceonomically disadvantaged students attend the University of California.

Credit: C. Fishel


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