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New biography of CT inventor coming out

par Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | March 28, 2012
The "father of computed tomography," Godfrey N. Hounsfield, is getting a new biography.

The British Institute of Radiology said this week it's publishing "Godfrey Hounsfield: Intuitive Genius of CT" in paperback and hardback next month.

The BIR said the book, written by Stephen Bates, Liz Beckmann, Adrian Thomas, and Richard Waltham, will include reminiscences from family and friends, and will examine how Hounsfield "thought in unusual ways, using pictures, analogies, and intuition."

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Hounsfield, a lifelong bachelor who died aged 84 in 2004, invented the first commercial CT scanner in the early 1970s while working for EMI Central Research Laboratories in Middlesex, England. Partly self-taught, Hounsfield said he came up with the idea of creating a CT scanner during one of his beloved country walks.

Hounsfield went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1979 for his achievement, a prize he shared with Allan Cormack, a South African-born nuclear physicist who separately came up with the mathematical underpinnings of the technology.

In his autobiography on the Nobel website, Hounsfield credited much of his creativity to growing up in the countryside.

"In a village there are few distractions and no pressures to join in at a ball game or go to the cinema, and I was free to follow the trail of any interesting idea that came my way," he said.

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