Cockcroft and Walton Experiment

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This experiment by John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton is claimed by some[Citation Needed] physicists as demonstrating that E=mc2.[1]

Conducted in April 1932 at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in England, the physicists Cockroft and Walton successfully split lithium atom nuclei by colliding them with artificially accelerated protons. This experiment is general hailed as being the first transmutation of an element using artificially accelerated particles, for which they were honored with the Nobel Prize in 1951[2].

Critics maintain that such verification is impossible due to the utter lack of any logical justification for that science fiction formula.

Since the experiment showed that mass could be converted directly into energy through nuclear transmutation it is generally seen as being an impressive verification of Albert Einstein's famous E=mc2 formula[3][4].

(explain experiment)


  1. Mike Poole Cockcroft's subatomic legacy: splitting the atom, Cern Courier, Nov 20, 2007
  2. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1951,, 23 Jan 2013
  3. The Center for History of Physics: Einstein: Image and Impact, © 1996-2004 - American Institute of Physics
  4. Louise Boylan: Cockroft and Walton Experiment: Converting Mass into Energy