Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Scottish physicist, c 1920s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson's (1869-1959) greatest achievement in the field of nuclear physics was his devising of the 'cloud chamber' method of marking the track of alpha- particles and electrons. This method enabled the movement and interaction of atoms to be followed and photographed and led to the development of the 'bubble chamber' by Donald Glaser (b 1926). In 1927, he shared the Nobel Prize for physics with Arthur Compton (1892-1962), and in 1937 was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society.