Clinton Joseph DavissonBorn 22 Oct 1881; died 1 Feb 1958 at age 76. American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 (with Englishman George P. Thomson) for discovering that electrons can be diffracted like light waves, thus verifying the thesis of Louis de Broglie that electrons behave both as waves and as particles. Davisson studied the effect of electron bombardment on surfaces, and observed (1925) the angle of reflection could depend on crystal orientation. Following Louis de Broglie's theory of the wave nature of particles, he realized that his results could be due to diffraction of electrons by the pattern of atoms on the crystal surface. Davisson worked with Lester Germer in an experiment in which electrons bouncing off a nickel surface produced wave patterns similar to those formed by light reflected from a diffraction grating, and supporting de Broglie's electron wavelength = (h/p). This discovery has been applied to the study of nuclear, atomic, and molecular structure. Davisson helped develop the electron microscope which uses the wave nature of electrons to view details smaller than the wavelength of visible light.