Victor Francis Hess

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Victor Francis Hess (June 24, 1883December 17, 1964) was an Austrian-American physicist.

After teaching at the universities of Graz and Innsbruck, he relocated to the United States in 1938 in order to escape Nazi prosecution (his wife was Jewish) and was appointed professor of physics at Fordham University that same year. He later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. By means of instruments carried aloft in balloons, Hess and others proved that radiation that ionizes the atmosphere is of cosmic origin. For this discovery of cosmic rays he won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with Carl David Anderson.

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