James Watson Cronin (September 29, 1931 – August 25, 2016) was an American particle physicist.Cronin was born in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He and co-researcher Val Logsdon Fitch were awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for a 1964 experiment that proved that certain subatomic reactions do not adhere to fundamental symmetry principles. Specifically, they proved, by examining the decay of kaons, that a reaction run in reverse does not merely retrace the path of the original reaction, which showed that the interactions of subatomic particles are not invariant under time reversal. Thus the phenomenon of CP violation was discovered.Cronin received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1976 for major experimental contributions to particle physics including fundamental work on weak interactions culminating in the discovery of asymmetry under time reversal. In 1999, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.Cronin was Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and a spokesperson emeritus for the Auger project. Cronin was a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
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