George Craig Laurence

George Craig Laurence, nuclear physicist (b at Charlottetown 21 Jan 1905; d at Deep River, Ont 6 Nov 1987). Educated at Dalhousie and Cambridge (under Ernest RUTHERFORD), Laurence became the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL's radium and X-ray physicist in 1930, when J.A.

Laurence, George Craig

George Craig Laurence, nuclear physicist (b at Charlottetown 21 Jan 1905; d at Deep River, Ont 6 Nov 1987). Educated at Dalhousie and Cambridge (under Ernest RUTHERFORD), Laurence became the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL's radium and X-ray physicist in 1930, when J.A. GRAY's pupils at Queen's constituted the only Canadian laboratory for atomic physics. Most of the early NRC work was developing medical and industrial radiology, but in 1939-40 Laurence attempted, virtually alone, to build a graphite-uranium atomic reactor in Ottawa.

In 1942 he joined the Anglo-French atomic research team in Montréal that built the ZEEP reactor, the first outside the US, at Chalk River in 1945, and served in the Canadian delegation to the UN Atomic Energy Commission (1946-47). Laurence then became a senior scientist at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories and president of the Atomic Energy Control Board (1961-70).