14 votes

How did J. J. Thomson establish the particle nature of the electron?

The idea that matter was made up of "primordial" particles, and currents in metals consisted of them was well established by then. Stoney suggested the name "electron" in 1891, and Lorentz's theory of ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
13 votes

Who predicted the existence of the muon neutrino?

Nobody in particular, it was what is called "folklore". The idea came up naturally when muon decay was observed by several groups in 1948, see Anicin's The Neutrino - Its Past, Present and ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Who did say that anyone who discover a new particle should be fined instead of receiving a prize?

According to a slide deck I found, it was Willis Lamb. Quote from said deck: In 1955, Willis Lamb started his Nobel Prize acceptance speech by saying that “maybe physicists discovering a new ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
9 votes

Why was the Greek letter psi (Ψ) chosen to represent the wave function?

Prior to Schrodinger There is no use of the symbol by de Broglie, Schrodinger's predecessor. In the first three short notes from de Broglie on the topic of wave mechanics (1923), there is no use of ...
Sam Gallagher's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Significance of Higgs model used in Glashow-Salam-Weinberg theory

This is precisely why this question belongs to HSM.SE with both feet! Your vision of what happened is deeply misleading, possibly requiring time travel. Recall the GWS 79 prize citation: "for ...
Cosmas Zachos's user avatar
6 votes

Did scientists at some point believe that *everything* is made out of atoms?

There was a time in the late 1800's-to-early 1900's when it became fairly clear that all substances in the material world were made of atoms. This "atomic theory" was not adopted by all scientists, ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
6 votes

Significance of Higgs model used in Glashow-Salam-Weinberg theory

It is called verification from experimental results. The GSW theories fitted mathematically the observed particle zoo symmetries and explained the approximate symmetries seen in the data. The Higgs ...
anna v's user avatar
  • 169
5 votes

Who predicted the existence of the muon neutrino?

I have compiled some answers to my question here: Neutrinos and neutrettos. The history is indeed complex, but a lot of credit must be given to Sakata and Inoue, who published in 1942 a paper on a ...
John Baez's user avatar
  • 321
4 votes
Accepted

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

Glashow did not introduce it in any article, in 1961 or ever. Glashow's Partial Symmetries of Weak Interactions (Nucl. Phys. 22 (1961) 579-588) did something more modest, it proposed $SU(2)×U(1)$ ...
Conifold's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Why was the idea of anti-particles having negative mass abandoned?

What motivated physicists to abandon the idea of anti-particles having a negative mass? Nothing. They never took the idea seriously. Don't forget that in his 1905 E=mc² paper Einstein said “the mass ...
John Duffield's user avatar
3 votes

Why don't we name the Higgs boson a "higgson"?

Gordon Fraser and I proposed the name "higgson" in the July 2012 issue of "Physics World," just as the boson was being discovered. We were not aware of Gell-Mann's prior advocacy ...
Michael Riordan's user avatar
3 votes

Why don't we name the Higgs boson a "higgson"?

Murray Gell-Mann proposed the term “higgson” as synonym for “Higgs boson” in his 1994 (A39) book The Quark and the Jaguar (pgs. 193-97).
Libb Thims's user avatar
2 votes

How was proton determined to be a common component of all atoms?

A great source on the history of particle physics is Pais's Inward Bound, see also references in In which experiments the charge to mass ratio of proton was determined? thread on Physics SE. Charge ...
Conifold's user avatar
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2 votes

When was the quantization of spin discovered?

Quantization of spin was discovered experimentaly by Stern and Gerlach in 1922. See Wikipedia article "Stern-Gerlach experiment". The correct theoretical model for spin was constructed by Pauli and ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
2 votes

How was the spontaneous symmetry breaking introduced and how did it lead to the Higgs mechanism?

Spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB or SBS) refers to the fact that the lowest energy state, the vacuum, may not be invariant under all symmetries of the theory, in other words, several vacua are ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
2 votes

How did Stern-Gerlach experiment change the concept of space quantization and electron spin?

Stern and Gerlach indeed did not know anything about the electron spoin when they conducted their experiments in 1921-22. Their experiments rather were originally misinterpreted to confirm the old ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
2 votes

What is the origin of the "red, green, yellow" quark color convention?

The oldest use I can find of red, green, yellow quark colours is Frank Close in 1979, but that seems to be a one-off since he used red, green, blue in 1975, and red, yellow, blue in 1986. Before Zee ...
David Bailey's user avatar
  • 1,222
2 votes
Accepted

How were the ions produced in Lawrence's 1932 cyclotron?

This is discussed in the original article in Physics Review in the Experimental Arrangement section (starting on page 25). The source of ions. An ideal source of ions is one that delivers to the ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
  • 1,197
2 votes

Is there a source for a footnote in *A Canticle for Leibowitz* about the definition of the electron, "Negative Twist of Nothingness"

I have found a provisional answer to my own question. For the time being I will not accept it because it does not mention either Léon Brillouin or Robert Andrews Millikan. I still hope someone will ...
Alfred's user avatar
  • 160
1 vote

Significance of Higgs model used in Glashow-Salam-Weinberg theory

In the development for the theory of weak interactions one important papers was the 1967 paper of Weinbergs where he combined a theory of leptons with a spontaneous breaking of the SU(2) x U(1) local ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Who coined the 'particle zoo' expression?

I suspect if the witticism had been associated to a specific individual, we'd be hearing more and more, and also competitive attributions to it. Oppenheimer (below) had a yen for adopting catchy ...
Cosmas Zachos's user avatar
1 vote

Were Feynman diagrams important for the creation of the electroweak theory?

Julian Schwinger said of Feynman diagrams: that they brought QFT to the masses. However, he along with Sin-Itiro Tomonaga independently developed an alternative formalism that is non-perturbative ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
1 vote

Looking for the source of a quote in QFT history

@Oбжорoв answered this in the PSE: a source is Robert J. Sciamanda, Am. J. Phys. 81, 645 (2013); doi: 10.1119/1.4812316, By extending some of Hobson’s ideas, I arrive at the conclusion that in ...
1 vote

Difference between Perrin's and J. J. Thomson's experiment

Thomson's objection was that Perrin's experiment left open the possibility that the electric charge is being carried along by the cathode ray and may be separable from it. The article 3 Experiments 1 ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 6,849
1 vote
Accepted

How were particle physics calculations done before Feynman diagrams?

Original renormalization papers that came out in 1947-48 by Bethe, Lewis, Schwinger and Tomonaga did not use Feynman diagrams, not even Feynman's own 1948 paper did. Here is Cao-Schweber's description ...
Conifold's user avatar
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