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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Famous Personalities - Scientists (old photo)

Institut International de Physique Solvay.
Fifth conference participants, 1927.

(click on image to enlarge)

Perhaps the most famous Solvay conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world's most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory.

The leading figures were Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. Einstein, disenchanted with Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle," remarked "God does not play dice." Bohr replied, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do."

Seventeen of the twenty-nine attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners, including Marie Curie, who alone among them, had won Nobel Prizes in two separate scientific disciplines.

Given below, are minor details about these major scientists.

Standing(left to right):

Auguste Antoine Piccard (January 28, 1884 – March 24, 1962) was a Swiss physicist, With the experience of FNRS-2 Piccard and his son Jacques built the improved Bathyscaphe Trieste.

Émile Henriot (July 2, 1885 - February 1, 1961) was a French chemist notable for being the first to show definitely that potassium and rubidium are naturally radioactive.

Paul Ehrenfest (January 18, 1880 – September 25, 1933) was an Austrian physicist and mathematician, He made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics, including the theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem.

Edouard Herzen (sorry couldn't get much about him, if you know a good source, let me know i will put it up here..)

Theophile Ernest de Donder [1872 – 1957] was a Belgian thermodynamicist, mathematician, and physicist famous for his 1923 work in developing correlations between the Newtonian concept of chemical affinity and the Gibbsian concept of free energy.

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (August 12, 1887 – January 4, 1961) was an Austrian - Irish physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1933.

Jules-Émile Verschaffelt (27 January 1870, Ghent – 22 December 1955) was a Belgian physicist. He worked at Kamerlingh Onnes’s laboratory in Leiden. For many years he also served as a science secretary for the Institut International de Physique Solvay. This required thorough knowledge of French, German and English, and brought him a huge amount of work.

Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (April 25, 1900 – December 15, 1958) was an Austrian theoretical physicist noted for his work on spin theory, and for the discovery of the exclusion principle underpinning the structure of matter and the whole of chemistry.In 1945, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery in 1925 of a new law of Nature, the Exclusion principle or Pauli principle." He was nominated for the prize by Einstein.

Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate. He is most well-known for discovering one of the central principles of modern physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and for the development of quantum mechanics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932.

Sir Ralph Howard Fowler (January 17, 1889 – July 28, 1944) was a British physicist and astronomer. Fifteen Fellows of the Royal Society and three Nobel Laureates were supervised by Fowler between 1922 and 1939. He worked as Hill's second in command working with the Experimental Department of HMS Excellent on Whale Island and made a major contribution on the aerodynamics of spinning shells for which he was awarded the OBE in 1918.

Léon Nicolas Brillouin (August 7, 1889 – December 1969) was a French physicist. Brillouin was a founder of modern solid state physics for which he discovered, among other things, Brillouin zones. He applied information theory to physics and the design of computers and coined the concept of Negentropy to demonstrate the similarity between entropy and information.

Seated in 2nd row(left to right): [UPDATED : July 19, 2008] [atlast i did it!!!!!]

Petrus Josephus Wilhelmus Debije (March 24, 1884 – November 2, 1966) was a Dutch physicist and physical chemist. He later legally changed his name to Peter Joseph William Debye. His first major scientific contribution was the application of the concept of dipole moment to the charge distribution in asymmetric molecules in 1912, molecular dipole moments are measured in debyes, a unit named in his honor. In 1936, Debye was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his contributions to the study of molecular structure".

Martin Hans Christian Knudsen
(February 15, 1871 - May 27, 1949) was a Danish physicist, known for his study of molecular gas flow and the development of the Knudsen cell, which is a primary component of molecular beam epitaxy systems. Knudsen was also renowned for his work on kinetic-molecular theory and low-pressure phenomena in gases. Knudsen was also very active in physical oceanography, developing methods of defining properties of seawater.

Sir William Lawrence Bragg
(31, March 1890 – 1, July 1971) was an Australian physicist. His father, William Henry Bragg, was Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Adelaide. Bragg is most famous for his law on the diffraction of X-rays by crystals. Bragg's law makes it possible to calculate the positions of the atoms within a crystal from the way in which an X-ray beam is diffracted by the crystal lattice. In 1915, Bragg received the Nobel Prize in Physics, aged 25, making him the youngest ever winner of a Nobel Prize. He was knighted in 1941.

Hendrik Anthony Kramers (February 2, 1894 – April 24, 1952) was a Dutch physicist, who was generally known by the first name Hans. Bohr took him on as a PhD student and Hans prepared his dissertation under Bohr's direction. Kramers was one of the founders of the Mathematisch Centrum in Amsterdam. He won the Lorentz Medal in 1947 and Hughes Medal in 1951.

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac
(August 8, 1902 – October 20, 1984) was a British theoretical physicist. Dirac made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. Among other discoveries, he formulated the so-called Dirac equation, which describes the behavior of fermions and which led to the prediction of the existence of antimatter. Dirac shared the Nobel Prize in physics for 1933 with Erwin Schrödinger, "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory."

Arthur Holly Compton (September 10, 1892 – March 15, 1962) was an American physicist and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery of the Compton effect. Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Compton gained support for consolidating plutonium research at the University of Chicago and for an ambitious schedule that called for producing the first atomic bomb in January 1945, a goal that was missed by only six months.

Louis-Victor-Pierre-Raymond, 7th duc de Broglie (August 15, 1892 – March 19, 1987) was a French physicist and a Nobel laureate. De Broglie created a new field in physics, the "wave mechanics," uniting the physics of light and matter. For this he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1929. Among the applications of this work has been the development of electron microscopes to get much better image resolution than optical ones, because of shorter wavelengths of electrons compared with photon.

Max Born (December 11, 1882 – January 5, 1970) was a Polish physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 30s. Born won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Niels Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. He was also part of the team of physicists working on the Manhattan Project. Bohr has been described as one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century.

Seated in 1st row(left to right):

Irving Langmuir (January 31, 1881 – August 16, 1957) was an American chemist and physicist. His most noted publication was the famous 1919 article "The Arrangement of Electrons in Atoms and Molecules". While at G.E., from 1909-1950, Langmuir advanced several basic fields of physics and chemistry, invented the gas-filled incandescent lamp, the hydrogen welding technique, and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry. He was the first industrial chemist to become a Nobel laureate.

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947) was a German physicist. He is considered to be the founder of quantum theory, and one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. In 1918, Planck received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum theory.

Marie Curie (born Maria Skłodowska; also known as Maria Skłodowska–Curie; November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934) was a physicist and chemist of Polish upbringing and, subsequently, French citizenship. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the only person honored with Nobel Prizes in two different sciences, and the first female professor at the University of Paris.

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (July 18, 1853 - February 4, 1928) was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the transformation equations subsequently used by Albert Einstein to describe space and time.

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, E = mc 2. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect." Einstein's many contributions to physics include his special theory of relativity, which reconciled mechanics with electromagnetism, and his general theory of relativity, which extended the principle of relativity to non-uniform motion, creating a new theory of gravitation.

Paul Langevin (January 23, 1872 – December 19, 1946) was a prominent French physicist who developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation. Langevin is noted for his work on paramagnetism and diamagnetism, and devised the modern interpretation of this phenomenon in terms of electric charges of electrons within atoms. His most famous work was in the use of ultrasound using Pierre Curie's piezoelectric effect.

Charles-Eugène Guye (October 15, 1866 - July 15, 1942) was a Swiss physicist. His research priorities were in the field of electrical currents, magnetic, gas discharges, etc. He succeeded the experimental proof of the special theory of relativity predicted dependence of the electron mass of the speed (Lorentz-Einstein prediction).

Charles Thomson Rees Wilson
(February 14, 1869 – November 15, 1959) was a Scottish physicist and meteorologist. He worked for some time at the observatory on Ben Nevis, where he made observations of cloud formation. He then tried to reproduce this effect on a smaller scale in the laboratory in Cambridge, expanding humid air within a sealed container. He later experimented with the creation of cloud trails in his chamber caused by ions and radiation. For the invention of the cloud chamber he received the Nobel Prize in 1927.

Sir Owen Willans Richardson
(April 26, 1879 - February 15, 1959) was a British physicist, professor at Princeton University from 1906 to 1913, and a Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and discovery of Thermionic emissions leading to Richardson's Law. He also researched the photoelectric effect, the gyromagnetic effect, the emission of electrons by chemical reactions, soft X-rays, and the spectrum of hydrogen. He was knighted in 1939. He died in 1959 aged 79.

**************  THE END  **************

Image courtesy -

The source for almost all of the above information, comes from Solvay Conference-Wikipedia (you can also find photos of the other solvay conferences there)

and many thanks to stumbleupon and its user OuTR4Ge, for bringing this photo to our attention.

Tags: photos famous eminent world scientific personalities physicists solvay conference trivia info


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