Alan Andrew Watson

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Alan Watson
Alan Andrew Watson at the Pierre Auger Observatory sign.jpg
Watson at the Pierre Auger Observatory, Malargue, Argentina in 2008
Alan Andrew Watson

(1938-09-26) 26 September 1938 (age 81)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Known forHaverah Park, Pierre Auger Observatory
Scientific career
FieldsUltra-high energy cosmic rays, ultra-high energy gamma-rays and high energy astrophysics
InstitutionsUniversity of Leeds
ThesisPhysics of condensation of water vapour (1964)

Alan Andrew Watson, FRS, (born 26 September 1938 in Edinburgh) is physicist and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds, England.[1]


Watson was educated at the University of Edinburgh (BSc 1960 first class honours in physics) and was awarded the degree of PhD in 1964 for his thesis on the physics of condensation of water vapour: Examination and possible exploitation of certain unexplored features in the operation of high pressure cloud chambers[2]. His main areas of interest were high-energy cosmic rays, ultra high-energy gamma rays and high-energy astrophysics.


Watson was Professor of Physics at the University of Leeds from 1984, having previously been Reader in Particle Cosmic Physics there, and retired in 2003 with the title Emeritus Professor.[3]

Watson was instrumental in the creation of the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina (begun 1999) which gathered the data that led to major discoveries in cosmic-ray astronomy. The Observatory covers an area of 3000 square km with 1,600 particle detectors each placed at 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) intervals.[4] Watson was serving as the spokesperson of the Pierre Auger collaboration and was later given the title of Spokesperson Emeritus.

Awards and honours[edit]

Watson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2000.[5]


  1. ^ "Alan Watson Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  2. ^ Watson, Alan A (1964). Examination and possible exploitation of certain unexplored features in the operation of high pressure cloud chambers. University of Edinburgh.
  3. ^ University of Leeds, List of Emeritus Professors Archived 2012-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Royal Society, List of Fellows

External links[edit]