Allan McLeod Cormack - South African Men, Family and Family

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Allan McLeod Cormack's Personal Details

Allan McLeod Cormack was a South African-American physicist, who received the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 23, 1924
Died onMay 7, 1998
NationalitySouth African, British, American
FamousSouth African Men, Scientists, Physicists
SpousesBarbara Jeanne Seavey
Childrens Jean Cormack, Margaret Cormack, Robert Cormack
Cause of deathCancer
Birth PlaceJohannesburg, South Africa
Born CountrySouth Africa
GenderMale
FatherGeorge Cormack
MotherAmelia MacLeod Cormack
Sun SignPisces
Born inJohannesburg, South Africa
Famous asPhysicist
Died at Age74

// Famous South African Men

Allan McLeod Cormack's photo

Who is Allan McLeod Cormack?

Allan McLeod Cormack was a South African-American physicist, who received the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Though his primary area of research was nuclear physics and particle physics, he was noted for his contributions towards X-ray computed tomography. After completing his graduation and post graduation studies in physics and crystallography respectively, he took up research at the St. John's College, Cambridge. Between 1950 and 1956, he worked as a lecturer at the University of Cape Town following which he spent a sabbatical year doing research at the Harvard University. In 1957, he commenced his job at Tufts University. He remained at the university throughout his career, and also served as Chairman of the Physics Department from 1968 to 1976. In the 1960’s he came up with a mathematical formula that enabled the compilation of a precise image developed from data collected measurements of X-rays passing through the body from various directions. Though Allan M. Cormack and Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounasfield conducted studies independently, they were jointly awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for ‘for the development of computer assisted tomography’. He was among the few laureates to receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine without having earned a doctorate degree in medicine or any other field of science.

// Famous Physicists

Childhood & Early Life

Allan McLeod Cormack was born on 23 February 1924 at Johannesburg in South Africa. His father, George Cormack, was an engineer and mother, Amelia MacLeod Cormack, worked as a teacher. He had two older siblings.

In 1936, following his father’s death he along with his family shifted to Cape Town. He attended the Rondebosch Boys' High School in Cape Town.

Apart from studies at school, he was interested in playing tennis, acting and debating. He was influenced by the books of Sir Arthur Eddington and Sir James Jeans and grew interested in astronomy.

He later got enrolled at the University of Cape Town to study Electrical Engineering. However, a few years later he shifted to studying physics. In 1944 he graduated with a B.Sc. in physics and the following year with a postgraduate degree M.Sc. in crystallography from the University of Cape Town.

Career

Upon completing his post graduate studies, he joined St. John's College in Cambridge as research student. He worked at the Cavendish Laboratory under Prof. Otto Frisch, studying radioactive isotope Helium-6.

In 1950, he shifted to Cape Town to join the University of Cape Town as a lecturer in the physics department. In Cape Town there were very few nuclear physicists and he was mentored by the head of the physics department Professor R. W. James, which enabled him to gain insights and later publish papers on the subject.

Between 1956 and 1957, he spent a sabbatical at the Harvard cyclotron with professors Norman Ransey and Richard Wilson performing experiments on nucleon-nucleon scattering. During this leave, he was offered a position of professor at the Tufts University which he accepted in 1957.

In the early years of the 1960’s Allan M Cormack explained the method of calculating details of flat section of soft tissues by the measurements of the reduced strength of X Rays that pass through various angles.

He thereby presented the mathematical technique for the computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan. The CAT scan was utilized to provide a clear map of the tissues within the cross section of the body by utilizing data captured by electronic detectors and X-Ray that are rotated around the body.

He continued his research and work in particle and nuclear physics, the results of which he published between 1963 and 1964. For a brief period he also pursued research regarding the CT-scanning. Beginning 1968 till 1976 he served as Chairman of the Physics Department at the Tufts University.

During the period 1970-1972, he became aware of the progress and improvements made in the field of CT-scanning and since spent time understanding the developments and tackling related issues.

Major Works

Allan M. Cormack was a physicist whose primary areas of interest in research were nuclear and particle physics. He was noted for his work related to the development of the diagnostic technique computerized axial tomography.

Awards & Achievements

He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1979 with electrical engineer Sir Godfrey N. Hounsfield.

In 1990 he received the National Medal of Science by the President of the United States.

He was an elected member of professional societies like International Academy of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and American Physical Society.

Personal Life & Legacy

On 6 January 1950 Allan M. Cormack married Barbara Jeanne Seavey. The couple had three children – daughters, Margaret Cormack, Jean Cormack and a son, Robert Cormack.

A South African citizen by birth, he became a Naturalized US Citizen in 1966.

He was suffering from cancer and died on 7 May 1998 at Massachusetts, USA. He was 74 years old at the time of his death.

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Allan McLeod Cormack awards

YearNameAward

Other

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1979)
National Medal of Science (1990)

Allan McLeod Cormack biography timelines

  • // 23rd Feb 1924
    Allan McLeod Cormack was born on 23 February 1924 at Johannesburg in South Africa. His father, George Cormack, was an engineer and mother, Amelia MacLeod Cormack, worked as a teacher. He had two older siblings.
  • // 1936
    In 1936, following his father’s death he along with his family shifted to Cape Town. He attended the Rondebosch Boys' High School in Cape Town.
  • // 1944
    He later got enrolled at the University of Cape Town to study Electrical Engineering. However, a few years later he shifted to studying physics. In 1944 he graduated with a B.Sc. in physics and the following year with a postgraduate degree M.Sc. in crystallography from the University of Cape Town.
  • // 1950
    In 1950, he shifted to Cape Town to join the University of Cape Town as a lecturer in the physics department. In Cape Town there were very few nuclear physicists and he was mentored by the head of the physics department Professor R. W. James, which enabled him to gain insights and later publish papers on the subject.
  • // 6th Jan 1950
    On 6 January 1950 Allan M. Cormack married Barbara Jeanne Seavey. The couple had three children – daughters, Margaret Cormack, Jean Cormack and a son, Robert Cormack.
  • // 1960
    In the early years of the 1960’s Allan M Cormack explained the method of calculating details of flat section of soft tissues by the measurements of the reduced strength of X Rays that pass through various angles.
  • // 1966
    A South African citizen by birth, he became a Naturalized US Citizen in 1966.
  • // 1970 To 1972
    During the period 1970-1972, he became aware of the progress and improvements made in the field of CT-scanning and since spent time understanding the developments and tackling related issues.
  • // 1979
    He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1979 with electrical engineer Sir Godfrey N. Hounsfield.
  • // 1990
    In 1990 he received the National Medal of Science by the President of the United States.
  • // 7th May 1998
    He was suffering from cancer and died on 7 May 1998 at Massachusetts, USA. He was 74 years old at the time of his death.

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Allan McLeod Cormack's FAQ

  • What is Allan McLeod Cormack birthday?

    Allan McLeod Cormack was born at 1924-02-23

  • When was Allan McLeod Cormack died?

    Allan McLeod Cormack was died at 1998-05-07

  • Where was Allan McLeod Cormack died?

    Allan McLeod Cormack was died in Massachusetts, United States

  • Which age was Allan McLeod Cormack died?

    Allan McLeod Cormack was died at age 74

  • Where is Allan McLeod Cormack's birth place?

    Allan McLeod Cormack was born in Johannesburg, South Africa

  • What is Allan McLeod Cormack nationalities?

    Allan McLeod Cormack's nationalities is South African,British,American

  • Who is Allan McLeod Cormack spouses?

    Allan McLeod Cormack's spouses is Barbara Jeanne Seavey

  • Who is Allan McLeod Cormack childrens?

    Allan McLeod Cormack's childrens is Jean Cormack, Margaret Cormack, Robert Cormack

  • What is Allan McLeod Cormack's cause of dead?

    Allan McLeod Cormack dead because of Cancer

  • Who is Allan McLeod Cormack's father?

    Allan McLeod Cormack's father is George Cormack

  • Who is Allan McLeod Cormack's mother?

    Allan McLeod Cormack's mother is Amelia MacLeod Cormack

  • What is Allan McLeod Cormack's sun sign?

    Allan McLeod Cormack is Pisces

  • How famous is Allan McLeod Cormack?

    Allan McLeod Cormack is famouse as Physicist