In which I discover all the crazy shit that Luis Alvarez did

Forget Tesla, have you seen Luis Alvarez's life?

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  1. So, I was tweeting about something largely irrelevant, and Chad Orzel replied with this
  2. Luis Alvarez was one of the people who discovered that a meteor had wiped out all the dinosaurs, so I wasn't quite sure what that meant.
  3. OK, that's pretty cool. Cosmic rays are high energy particles that are constantly streaming down from the sky. They can go through a fair bit of solid rock before they stop, so it would kind of be like an x-ray -- if there's a hole in the pyramid a few more would get through, so you could map the inside. Apparently they didn't find anything.

    (The point of the original tweet, incidentally, was that a null result can be very meaningful. If they didn't find anything, the pyramid was solid.)

    So great. I went off to read more about that. Then this happened.
  4. Now it was time to get really excited. And that means tweet it out to the world.
  5. It didn't stop there.
  6. (I mean, he didn't invent it. He improved on a previous design. But BOOM: right tweak, discoveries galore, Nobel Prize.)
  7. Seriously. Let's recap: started assisting the guys who discovered anti-matter in cosmic rays, flew along with the first atomic bomb and measured it pressure, invented the Bubble Chamber, figured out that a giant meteor made the dinosaurs extinct. Oh, and tried to sort out the Kennedy assassination by-the-by. How is this guy not a legend?
  8. *auto*-biography. Of course.