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Hispanic American Scientist

Hispanic American Scientists

Luis Walter Alvarez
Born: 1911
Birthplace: San Francisco, Calif.

Radio distance and direction indicator ó Alvarez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968. He helped design a ground-controlled radar system for aircraft landings and with his son developed the meteorite theory of dinosaur extinction. (1978)
Died: 1988

Franklin Chang-Džaz
astronaut, scientist
Born: April 5, 1950
Birthplace: San Jose, Costa Rica

Chang-Džaz moved to the United States when he was in high school, and got a doctorate in applied plasma physics from MIT in 1977. He eventually achieved his dream of becoming an astronaut, entering space for the first time aboard Columbia in January 1986. He was the first Costa Rican astronaut, and, as of 2004, he was one of only two astronauts to have served on seven space missions, the other being Jerry Ross. Chang-Džaz is also the director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where he has been developing a plasma rocket.

Mario Molina
chemist, Nobel laureate
Born: March 19, 1943
Birthplace: Mexico City

At the University of California at Berkeley in 1973, Molina and Sherwood Rowland began researching chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), then widely used in refrigerators, spray cans, and cleaning solvents. They discovered that the release of CFCs could destroy the ozone layer in the stratosphere, allowing more ultraviolet light to get through to Earth and potentially increasing the rate of skin cancer. Their efforts led to CFC production being banned in most countries, and they received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Carlos Noriega
Astronaut
Born: 10/8/1959
Birthplace: Lima, Peru

Astronaut Carlos Noriega had a distinguished career as a Marine Corps pilot before venturing millions of miles beyond planet Earth. A mission specialist and computer scientist, Lieutentant Colonel Noriega has visited Mir and helped to assemble the International Space Station.

Ellen Ochoa
Astronaut
Born: 5/10/1958
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Astronaut Ellen Ochoa first left Earth in July 1991 and became the world's first Hispanic female astronaut. A mission specialist and flight engineer, she has since logged more than 900 hours in space on four flights, the last in 2002. Dr. Ochoa's many awards include NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1997) and Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995). Besides being an astronaut, researcher, and engineer, Ochoa is a classical flutist.

Ochoa, Severo
Ochoa, Severo, 1905Ė93, American biochemist and educator, b. Spain, M.D. Univ. of Madrid, 1929. After teaching at the universities of Madrid, Heidelberg, and Oxford, he came to the United States in 1940. In 1954 he was appointed chairman of the department of biochemistry at New York Univ. He became an American citizen in 1956. With Arthur Kornberg he received the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA), an organic compound that carries hereditary qualities in all reproduction.


The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2006, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.




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