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By Elizabeth Oakes

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Alvarez quickly earned his reputation as the wild idea man at UC Berkeley with three significant discoveries in the 1930s. Within his first year there he discovered how atomic nuclei decayed and orbital electrons absorbed them, a process known as K-electron capture. He then invented a mercury vapor lamp with a student, and with Bloch he developed a process for determining the magnetic moment of neutrons by slowing their motion in a beam. In the early 1940s he conducted research for the military at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on radio detecting and ranging systems, developing three new types of radar in three years.

Alvariño, Angeles (1916– ) Spanish/American Marine Biologist Angeles Alvariño De Leira, who is known by the professional name Angeles Alvariño, is a fishery research biologist and oceanographer who has specialized in the study of marine zooplankton, animal plankton such as jellyfish and sea anemones. In particular, Alvariño investigated the geographic distribution and ecology of zooplankton and significantly advanced scientists’ understanding of the little-studied marine organisms. Alvariño’s research led to the detection of 22 undiscovered ocean species.

However, his applications of mathematical concepts proved even more profound than his abstract realizations. In De architectura, Vitruvius told the dubious story of Archimedes’ solution to a problem posed by Hieron—how to test whether a gift crown was indeed pure gold, as the giver claimed, or alloyed with 26 Aristarchus of Samos less precious metals, as Hieron suspected. As Archimedes pondered the problem in the bathtub, he noticed that the farther he immersed his body in the tub, the more water spilled over the edge.

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