Questions tagged [physicists]

For questions about those who did Physics

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2 votes
0 answers
164 views

Einstein's "answers have changed"

I remember first seeing this anecdote a few years ago in a newspaper article, now I am seeing more frequently in motivational content over the internet, every time with very few additional details. ...
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5 votes
5 answers
442 views

Are there any well known mathematicians who were fascists?

I only recently learned that Pascual Jordan, a well known physicist, with significant contributions to the development of early quantum mechanics was a paid up member of the Nazi Party. He in fact ...
6 votes
10 answers
3k views

Who were some physicists with musical background?

Inspired on this post: Who were some mathematicians who have a musical background? I want to now ask if there were any famous physicists who had a particular musical background. Looking in Google I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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First example of regularization

Background: I like to think of L'Hospital as one of the earliest authors of least-squares regression. L'Hospital, G. (1696). L'analyse des infiniment petits pour l'intelligence des lignes courbes. I'm ...
1 vote
0 answers
141 views

Presocratics from the view of mathematicians and physicists

I am interested in a book that has all the fragments of pre-socratics but the notes etc. in the translation are from a mathematician or physicist relating with how each point affected the evolution of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
78 views

Doubt on women behind the development of wormhole physics

Ludwig Flamm $[1]$, Albert Einstein-Natan Rosen $[2]$, Hermann Weyl $[3]$, John Wheeler-Fuller $[4,5]$, Homer G. Ellis $[6]$, K. Bronnikov $[7]$, Michael Morris-Kip Thorne$[8]$, M. Visser $[9]$, ...
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18 votes
1 answer
4k views

What did Schroedinger try to say with the cat thought experiment?

In many books one finds different explanations. Specifically popular seems to be that he "argued against the Copenhagen interpretation". But what did he really intend to communicate? I for ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Feynman win the Putnam by a "large margin"

I was reading Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and came across this section: Image transcribed: "One of Feynman’s fraternity brothers was surprised to see him return home while ...
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3 votes
1 answer
172 views

Demystifying Nikola Tesla: Scientifically sound, historically accurate biography

As any physicist knows, a lot of amateur science afficionados out there bring up Nikola Tesla in rather fantastical ways. There are indeed a few reasons for his near mythical status in popular culture,...
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7 votes
1 answer
428 views

Why is it said that Marie Curie died due to her work but the same isn't said for Fermi?

I learnt in school that Marie Curie died from her work at 66 years. On the other hand, Enrico Fermi, who also handled a lot of radioactive substances died of stomach cancer at the age of just 53. It ...
3 votes
0 answers
173 views

Other than Franco Rasetti, how many scientists refused to work on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds?

Franco Rasetti was an American-Italian physicist. He was born in Italy and obtained his laurea in physics at the university of Pisa. Fermi invited him to join his research group at the University of ...
1 vote
0 answers
99 views

What physicist was famous for his out-of-the-box problem solving methodology using concept maps?

I remember having read on Wikipedia some time ago the page of a 20th century physicist. There was a subsection about his strategy for problem solving that involved drawing a concept map of the objects ...
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2 votes
1 answer
151 views

How did Heisenberg build the P Q matrix terms?

I learnt in some Wikipedia articles that the terms of the P and Q matrices designed by Heisenberg were composed of Fourier coefficients. Could you provide some explanation on how these coefficients ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Who was the first to hypothesise that gravity from one mass causes the spacetime around another mass to curve?

Was it Einstein? Or was there someone before him to hypothesise this?
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0 votes
0 answers
82 views

Who introduced the difference between magnetic fields in matter? $\mathbf H$ vs $\mathbf B$

In magnetism, there are two different magnetic fields, that I will simply call $\mathbf B$ and $\mathbf H$. The distinction is not always clear. In experiments $\mathbf H$ is the applied field while $\...
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0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Which scientist(s) first measured the elementary charge and how did they do it? [duplicate]

I would be grateful if anyone could shed some light on these questions. Which scientist(s) first measured the elementary charge? If it wasn't measured in a straightforward experimental setting, and ...
13 votes
12 answers
7k views

Which physicists died very young or in a tragic way?

Inspired by Which mathematicians died very young or in a tragic way? , I wonder which physicists had similar fates. A quick search lead me to Heinrich Hertz who died from a malignant bone condition at ...
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0 votes
0 answers
80 views

Does Anthony Bloch have a kinship with Felix Bloch?

I would like to know whether Anthony Bloch is a descendant of Felix Bloch or not. The Anthony Bloch's page on The Mathematics Genealogy Project only shows his advisory relationships, not kinships. ...
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17 votes
7 answers
7k views

Has there been an equivalent in physics to Ramanujan in maths?

Ramanujan's story is a well known story of the Indian young man who turned out to be a mathematical genius without a scholarly education. He was "discovered" by the mathematician Hardy at ...
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

Was Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity inspired by his father?

Becquerel was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery of radioactivity. He was researching phosphoresence and decided one day to place the stuff he used in a drawer to keep it out of the sun. He put ...
2 votes
0 answers
43 views

How did Mach's view on spacetime differ from Einstein's?

We can read in Wikipedia: Mach's principle, in cosmology, hypothesis that the inertial forces experienced by a body in nonuniform motion are determined by the quantity and distribution of matter in ...
0 votes
0 answers
127 views

Galileo's discovery of the independence of motion

It is well-known that Galileo was the first one to state that motions in different dimensions (or components) are independent of one another. Where is this in Galileo's writings?
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134 views

Was Landau interested in the interpretations of quantum mechanics?

I am interested in Lev Landau. I was trying to find what was his approach to the interpretation of quantum mechanics, I am unable to find any particular source were this is discussed. Was he an ...
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2 votes
2 answers
278 views

What are Steven Weinberg's contribution to physics other than electroweak unification?

What are Steven Weinberg's contributions to physics other than the Nobel-winning work on electroweak unification? Why is he so famous and respected among particle physicists compared to other Nobel ...
-3 votes
2 answers
625 views

Why we got so many geniuses after 19th century? [closed]

Albert Einstein was a genius, Kurt Gödel was a genius, John Von Neumann was a genius (I hope that people over here will share the meaning of "genius" which I understand, for me I always find ...
4 votes
1 answer
473 views

Names of the electromagnetic units in SI

The unit of electric charge is the coulomb, named after Charles Augustin de Coulomb. This makes sense because Coulomb's law talks about the force between two charges. Likewise, it also makes sense to ...
2 votes
1 answer
111 views

In which article did the physicist Sheldon Glashow introduce his electroweak theory?

In which article did Glashow introduce (1961?) a unified description of the electromagnetic and weak interactions, i.e., the electroweak interaction that earned him the Nobel prize in physics?
2 votes
0 answers
104 views

Einstein's handwritten manuscript on General Relativity

The book "The Road to Relativity" by Gutfreund and Renn annotates Einstein's original handwritten manuscript from 1916 - "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity." I can ...
2 votes
1 answer
696 views

How did J.J. Thomson learn that what he discovered was different than an atom or a molecule?

Wikipedia says he discovered that the electron was different than an atom or molecule. His line of reasoning is not shown. I additionally searched stack exchange and unless I missed it..... I am lost ...
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1 vote
1 answer
139 views

Why did Sylvester Gates choose the name Adinkra?

Sylvester James Gates was one of the co-discoverers of Adinkras. These are graphical representations of susy (supersymmetry) algebras. They are named after a West African people — the Akan of Ghana ...
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Which books did famous physicists and mathematicians use to study in university? [closed]

I would like to know if there is any data on this topics out of curiosity. I know that telling everyone which textbooks they used isn't a common habit, but I am certain there are textbooks that some ...
0 votes
1 answer
554 views

What is the source of a quotation by Niels Bohr?

The quote is: When asked ... [about] an underlying quantum world, Bohr would answer, 'There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
326 views

Einstein: 'SR is a theory of invariants, not relativity' -- source?

It is occasionally remarked that Einstein was unhappy that SR became referred to as a ‘theory of relativity’, when in his eyes it was, much more importantly, a theory of invariants (Invariantentheorie)...
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Heisenberg's Obituary to Pauli

In an interview of Heisenberg by Thomas Kuhn: When Pauli had died, I was asked to write this memorial volume. Weisskopf had asked me. Then, actually, originally I had written an article on Pauli's ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
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Was there ever a mathematician or physicist who spearheaded a concerted effort to create a flawless musical instrument?

Specifically, is there any research paper or record of where someone renowned in their field performed experiments by using the properties of physics, engineering or mathematics to develop a musical ...
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

What was the content of Sakharov's research into cosmic rays?

According to Wikipedia, Sakharov in his early scientific career investigated cosmic rays. It offers no other details. It claims that it was for this work that he was awarded his doctorate. However ...
3 votes
1 answer
476 views

Portrait of Stephen Butterworth

Does anybody know of a portrait of British physicist Stephen Butterworth (1885-1958)?
4 votes
1 answer
229 views

Did Heisenberg defend that Germany should rule Europe?

The following has been attributed to the German physicist Werner Heisenberg: History legitimizes Germany to rule Europe and later the world. Only a nation that rules ruthlessly can maintain itself. ...
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4 votes
0 answers
990 views

Was Richard Feynman really awarded a patent for a nuclear Airplane and Rocket?

I've been re-reading "Surely you're Joking Mr. Feynman", and at one point he talks about how at Los Alamos they were asked to write down any idea, no matter how obvious involving nuclear technology, ...
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

What is the Leroy Grumman Medal won by the theoretical physicist Kenneth G. Wilson?

I happened to find that one of the most important inventors of the renormalization group, Kenneth G. Wilson, won the Leroy Randle Grumman Award Medal in 1986, 4 years after his Nobel prize. Details in ...
0 votes
2 answers
192 views

Did anyone with formal medical education become a known theoretical physicist?

Was there someone who got a medical education, took an interest in physics and later became a known theoretical physicist? I am a medical student studying graduate mathematics and consider becoming a ...
2 votes
0 answers
244 views

Who discovered Maxwell-Faraday equation, $\nabla\times E=-\frac{\partial B}{\partial t}$? Was it Maxwell or Neumann?

I have been trying to find out who discovered Maxwell-Faraday equation, $\nabla\times E=-\frac{\partial B}{\partial t}$. Was it Maxwell himself, or was it Franz Ernst Neumann who derived it? The ...
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0 votes
1 answer
179 views

Did John von Neumann ever go to any Nordic Country? Did Eugene Paul Wigner ever go to any other Nordic country apart from Sweden?

I am researching the presence of important scientists in Nordic countries — Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. I was hoping that someone could help me since I've not been able to find ...
9 votes
1 answer
716 views

What actually led Feynman to the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics?

It is commonly known that Feynman's path integral was inspired by Dirac's observation that the kernel is proportional to $\exp{iS/\hbar}$. It was Feynman, however, who had the idea of expressing the ...
4 votes
1 answer
419 views

What are some references that Lev Landau was atheist?

In Wikipedia and many other sources copying it, it is claimed that Lev Landau was an atheist (I have no problem to believe the claim), however the (two) sources are not satisfying at all, to me. I ...
3 votes
1 answer
229 views

Did Ludwig Boltzmann read Albert Einstein's publication published on Brownian motion one year before Boltzmann passed away?

Apparently there was some negative reception of Boltzmann's idea of an "atom". I assume the mathematics used by Einstein in his publication did not use any of Boltzmann's statistical mathematics ...
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0 answers
315 views

Is there any historical mention of Richard Feynman being aware of multiverse theories of cosmology?

The reason I ask is because he talks about the fine structure constant in one of his undergraduate lectures. The reference to its mystery is analogous to all the special constants of nature such as ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Max Planck and energy quantization idea

Did Planck have an intuition behind the idea of energy quantization of atomic oscillators and radiation, or was it just a mathematical trick to derive his distribution law?
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did Richard Feynman ever meet Stephen Hawking or comment on Hawking radiation?

I was just curious what Richard Feynman thought of Stephen Hawking's Hawking Radiation. Feynman was one of the developers of quantum field theory and Hawking's work would have been cutting edge on the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
332 views

Where did Fermi get the U235 for the first nuclear pile?

I am puzzled as to where or who produced the U235 for the first nuclear pile. I read that graphite was used as a neutron moderator but only .7 % of natural uranium is U235. He must have gotten it ...
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