Richter, Burton, 1931-, American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956. A professor at Stanford, Richter built a particle accelerator (Stanford Positron-Electron Asymmetric Ring) with the help of David Ritson and the support of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. With it he discovered a new subatomic particle called a psi-particle (now called a J/psi meson). The same discovery was made independently and nearly simultaneously by Samuel Ting using a different method. The two scientists were jointly awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.
Burton, Ernest De Witt, 1856-1925, American biblical scholar, b. Granville, Ohio. From 1882 to 1923 he served as professor of New Testament literature and interpretation at the Univ. of Chicago, of which he became president in 1923. He wrote A Short Introduction to the Gospels (rev. by H. R. Willoughby, 1926); with E. J. Goodspeed, Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels (1917) and Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels in Greek (1920); and, with Shailer Mathews, The Life of Christ (rev. ed. 1927).
Burton, Harold Hitz, 1888-1964, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1945-58), b. Jamaica Plain (now part of Boston), Mass. Admitted to the bar in 1912, he built a prosperous law practice in Cleveland and taught law (1923-25) at Western Reserve Univ. (now Case Western Reserve Univ.). He later served as a representative (1929-31) in the Ohio state assembly and as a reform mayor (1935-40) of Cleveland. As U.S. Senator (1941-45), Burton vigorously pressed for U.S. participation in the United Nations. Appointed by President Harry S. Truman to the Supreme Court, he firmly supported the decisions overturning racial segregation in schools and public transportation.
Burton, Richard, 1925-84, British actor, b. Pontrhydfen, Wales; his original name was Richard Jenkins. A dark, introspective actor with a splendid speaking voice, Burton specialized in portraying conflicted, frequently tormented, men. He appeared with the Old Vic in Henry V and Othello and on Broadway in Camelot (1960) and Hamlet (1964). His tempestuous marriage to Elizabeth Taylor led to an acting partnership that vaulted Burton to the top rank of stardom. Together, they made Cleopatra (1963), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). He chose his later roles less carefully, though he displayed undiminished power in such vehicles as Equus (1977), Wagner (1982), and 1984 (1984). In 1983, he teamed again with Taylor in Noel Coward's Private Lives on Broadway.
Burton, Sir Richard Francis, 1821-90, English explorer, writer, and linguist. He joined (1842) the service of the East India Company and, while stationed in India, acquired a thorough knowledge of the Persian, Afghan, Hindustani, and Arabic languages. In 1853, in various disguises, he made a famous journey to Mecca and Medina, about which he wrote the vivid Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah (3 vol., 1855-56). With John Speke he took a party to Somaliland; he alone, disguised as an Arab merchant, made the journey to Harar, Ethiopia, where he met with the local ruler. He went with Speke to uncharted E central Africa to discover the source of the Nile; he found Lake Tanganyika (1858) but abandoned the attempt to reach Lake Nyasa. After a visit to the United States, Burton published an account of the Mormon settlement at Utah in his City of the Saints (1861). While consul (1861-65) at Fernando Po (now Bioko), off W Africa, he explored the Bight of Biafra and conducted a mission to Dahomey, Benin, and the Gold Coast. He explored Santos, in Brazil, while consul (1865) there, and after crossing the continent wrote Explorations of the Highlands of Brazil (1869). After a short period (1869-71) as consul at Damascus he was consul (1872-90) at Trieste, where he died. His last years were devoted chiefly to literature. He published remarkable literal translations of Camões and of the Arabian Nights (16 vol., 1885-88).

See annotated bibliography by N. M. Penzer (1923); biographies by his wife (2 vol., 1893, repr. 1973), G. M. Stisted (1893, repr. 1970), A. Bercovici (1962), and F. M. Brodie (1966), and biography of Burton and his wife by M. S. Lovell (1998).

Burton, Robert, 1577-1640, English clergyman and scholar, b. Leicestershire, educated at Oxford. He served as librarian at Christ Church, Oxford, all his life; in addition he was vicar of St. Thomas, Oxford, and later was rector of Seagrave, Leicestershire. A bachelor, he led an uneventful, scholarly life. His famous work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, appeared in 1621 under the pen name Democritus Junior. Enlarged and revised several times before his death, this treatise originally set out to explore the causes and effects of melancholy, but it eventually covered many areas in the life of man, including science, history, and political and social reform. The work is divided into three main portions: The first defines and describes various kinds of melancholy; the second puts forward various cures; and the third analyzes love melancholy and religious melancholy. Burton's prose style is informal, anecdotal, and thoroughly idiosyncratic, and he includes quotations from a wide range of literature—the Bible, the classics, the Elizabethan authors.

See M. O'Connell, Robert Burton (1986).

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  • Burton process, a thermal cracking process invented by William M. Burton, used to produce Diesel.

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