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Willie Fowler
Born August 9, 1911(1911-08-09)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died March 14, 1995 (aged 83)
Pasadena, California
Doctoral advisor Charles Christian Lauritsen
Doctoral students George Fuller, Donald Clayton
Influences Fred Hoyle
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Physics (1983)

William Alfred "Willie" Fowler (August 9, 1911 – March 14, 1995) was an American astrophysicist. He should not be confused with the British astronomer Alfred Fowler.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fowler moved with his family to Lima, Ohio at the age of two. He graduated from the Ohio State University, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in nuclear physics at the California Institute of Technology. His seminal paper Synthesis of the Elements in Stars (Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 29, Issue 4, pp. 547–650), coauthored with E. Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, and Fred Hoyle, was published in 1957. The paper explained how the abundances of essentially all but the lightest chemical elements could be explained by the process of nucleosynthesis in stars. It is widely known as B²FH.

Fowler won the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society in 1963, the Vetlesen Prize in 1973, the Eddington Medal in 1978, the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1979, and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe (shared with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar). He died in Pasadena, California.


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