Val Logsdon Fitch

Val Logsdon Fitch ( born March 10, 1923 in Merriman, Nebraska ) is an American elementary physics.

Fitch received in 1980 along with James Cronin the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K- mesons "


His father had a cattle ranch, but these had to give up after a riding accident and went to the nearby Gordon ( Nebraska), where he worked in the insurance industry. During World War II Fitch (who had just begun his studies ) worked in the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos in the laboratory of Ernest Titterton. He received his bachelor's degree in 1948 in electrical engineering from McGill University and a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University in 1954 with James Rainwater. In his dissertation he measured the gamma rays from muonic atoms.

Since 1960 he is a professor at Princeton University. Here his interest shifted to K- mesons. In 1964, Fitch led by James Cronin through a series of experiments in which they discovered a violation of the CP invariance in the decay of neutral K- mesons.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1976 he received the Wetherill Medal.

He has two sons from his first marriage (his wife died in 1972 ) and married again in 1976 and has three stepchildren from this marriage.