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What did Luis Alvarez invent?

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Quick Answer

Among many things, Luis Alvarez invented a detonating device for the atomic bomb. The acclaimed physicist also co-discovered the East/West effect of cosmic rays, which is what led him to study nuclear physics in depth. During World War II, he created three radar systems including a high-altitude bombing system, a blind landing system and an early warning system.

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Luis Alvarez graduated from the University of Chicago, eventually earning his PhD at the school in 1932. He later became part of the Manhattan Project, a government project to invent a nuclear weapon. Alvarez's discoveries and contributions won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968. Alvarez held 22 patents during his lifetime and was also famed for developing a golf training machine specifically for President Eisenhower.

Later on in his life, he aided an exploration to find unearthed chambers in the pyramids in Egypt. Alvarez became interested in archaeology and geology through this expedition and began working with his son, a geology professor at Berkeley, to study dinosaurs and their extinction. Alvarez and his son were the first to publish the theory that dinosaurs may have become extinct due to an asteroid hitting the Earth more than 60 million years ago.

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