William Alfred "Willy" Fowler (August 9, 1911 March 14, 1995) was an American astrophysicist. He should not be confused with the British astronomer Alfred Fowler.
Fowler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from The Ohio State University and went on to receive a Ph.D. in nuclear physics at the California Institute of Technology. His seminal paper Synthesis of the Elements in Stars (Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 29, Issue 4, pp. 547650), coauthored with E. Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, and Fred Hoyle, was published in 1957. The paper explained how the abundances of essentially all but the lightest chemical elements could be explained by the process of nucleosynthesis in stars.
Fowler won the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society in 1963, the Eddington Medal in 1978, the Bruce Medal in 1979, and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe. He died in Pasadena, California.
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