38 votes

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

George Green may be considered a physicist or a mathematician. (The titles of his papers suggest a physicist). He was a son of a miller, and a miller himself, in Nottingham, self educated. At the age ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
29 votes

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

Michael Faraday would meet your criteria as a physicist of historic significance without a formal education. Notably, he spent most of his teenage years working as an apprentice bookbinder. Somewhat ...
Mark Yasuda's user avatar
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28 votes

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

The first metric theory of gravitation, in which the effects of gravitation are treated entirely in terms of the geometry of curved spacetime, was published by Finnish physicist Gunnar Nordström in ...
gandalf61's user avatar
  • 436
18 votes
Accepted

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

I take that your primary goal is to know what Feynman thought of Hawking's work. While it is possible that they have met I would consider it unlikely given that Feynman mentioned several times how his ...
cesaruliana's user avatar
18 votes

Which physicists died very young or in a tragic way?

Henry Moseley was KIA at Gallipoli at the age of 27 Alexander Friedmann died at the age of 37 (of poisoning and/or poor treatement). Matvei Bronstein was executed by Soviet communists at the age of 32....
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

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

One can simply read what Schroedinger said, English translation of his paper The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics (1935) by Trimmer is available on Jstor. The cat paradox is presented as part of ...
Conifold's user avatar
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16 votes

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

Other possibilities might be James Joule and Oliver Heaviside. Joule was a brewer by trade and worked on science entirely as an amateur (as far as I know). He was one of the few examples of a ...
Hollis Williams's user avatar
15 votes

Famous scientists in the Nazi party

The most famous mathematicians who were the members of NSDAP are Ludwig Bieberbach and Oswald Teichmüller.
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
15 votes

Which physicists died very young or in a tragic way?

A few more. At the time of their deaths ... Alexis Thérèse Petit was 28 (tuberculosis): known for work in thermodynamics, including the Dulong–Petit law Walther Ritz was 31 (tuberculosis): known ...
Mark Yasuda's user avatar
  • 1,538
14 votes

Why did Einstein oppose quantum uncertainity?

I am not sure what "explain it like a story" means, but the Bohr–Einstein debates is perhaps the most dramatic story of Einstein making his dissatisfaction known. Pais's scientific biography ...
Conifold's user avatar
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13 votes
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Max Planck's reaction to Einstein's 1905 STR Paper

It seems not. See: A.Douglas Stone, Einstein and the quantum: The quest of the valiant Swabian (2013): [page 6] Planck was the first major figure to recognize Einstein’s seminal 1905 work on ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
13 votes
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Who was the first woman to complete the physics and mathematics program in Zürich?

The first woman to complete the course of study in department VI A, mathematics and physics, was Mary Ann Elizabeth Stephansen of Bergen, Norway 4. The diploma in mathematics (specifically, Fachlehrer ...
njuffa's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

On early US patriotism to choose quark color charge labels

According to the best source, "red, white, and blue" were proposed in honour of France, not the United States. As discussed in the answer to "Quantum chromodynamics - an origin of the ...
David Bailey's user avatar
  • 1,222
11 votes
Accepted

Did Feynman develop QED based on Stueckelberg's manuscript?

There seems to be enough evidence to believe that people were joking around about Stueckelberg's notes in 1965, when the Nobel prize was awarded to Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga, but I do not see ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes
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Heisenberg's Obituary to Pauli

I think the article in question is: Heisenberg, W. Wolfgang Paulis philosophische Auffassungen. Naturwissenschaften 46, 661–663 (1959). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00594803 I found it via citation in ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 226
11 votes

Heisenberg's Obituary to Pauli

The English translation by Kurt Leidecker is referenced as "Wolfgang Pauli's philosophical views", in Main Currents in Modern Thought, volume 17, pages 51-54 (1961). The paper is also cited ...
user6530's user avatar
  • 3,850
11 votes
Accepted

Who were some physicists with musical background?

Classical education included music as one of the liberal arts since the times of Plato's Academy, see quadrivium, so most physicists had musical background until the end of 19th century. But there ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
10 votes
Accepted

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

It was Dirac's paper The Lagrangian in Quantum Mechanics. He gave more than just a remark about $\exp{iS/\hbar}$, he described the general structure of the path integral expression for the transition ...
Conifold's user avatar
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10 votes

Are there any well known mathematicians who were fascists?

The book Mathematicians Under the Nazis by Segal is a systematic study of, well, what it says in the title. It includes several examples of mathematicians who showed various degrees of sympathy for ...
Danu's user avatar
  • 3,842
9 votes

Famous scientists in the Nazi party

The mathematician who would have been famous had he not been a member of the SS / Nazi Party and died in a POW camp is, I think, Gerhard Gentzen. He invented/rigourously described natural deduction ...
Willemien's user avatar
  • 303
9 votes

Why were 20th Century German scientists so impressive?

Given the historical circumstances the German education system might or might not have played a significant role in the formation of these scientists. In his collection of essays entitled "Brocas ...
polymechanos's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

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

Thomson drew his conclusion based on his calculation of the charge to mass ratio of the "corpuscular carriers of negative charge in cathode rays". Quoting Thomson's Nobel Lecture of 1906: ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 6,849
8 votes
Accepted

How did Planck calculate the Planck constant?

See How did Planck derive the black body radiation formula without using the Bose statistics? for general circumstances of Planck's discovery. Specifically, Planck was trying to reproduce the ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.2k
8 votes

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

Sorry for the hype in this answer. But trying to convey how singular - how truly remarkable Ramanujan was, as a mathematician and innovator, is truly difficult without writing a book on him... so ...
Stilez's user avatar
  • 189
8 votes

Which physicists died very young or in a tragic way?

Louis Cartan, son of Élie Cartan and brother of Henri Cartan, was a member of the French Resistance and was executed by the Germans in 1943, when he was 33 years old.
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
8 votes

Which physicists died very young or in a tragic way?

Harry Daghlian, 24 Louis Slotin, 35 Both killed at Los Alamos during separate reckless criticality accidents with the same plutonium bomb core (afterwards nicknamed the "Demon Core"). ...
J...'s user avatar
  • 181
8 votes

Who were some physicists with musical background?

Satyendra Nath Bose, an Indian physicist and polymath, is famous for having collaborated with Albert Einstein on his original work, which came to be called Bose-Einstein statistics. However, very few ...
Big Brother's user avatar
  • 2,157
7 votes

Who was first to observe or detect photons in the double slit experiment, and how did they do that?

To the contrary, Young's point was to disprove the then dominant Newton's corpuscular theory of light by demonstrating light's wave properties, see How did Young perform his double slit experiment? ...
Conifold's user avatar
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7 votes

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

“In Copenhagen again! The brothers Bohr fetched me at the pier, and now I’m established in Niels Bohr’s private palace. I had numerous conversations with the Bohrs and Mrs. Bohr, of course mostly ...
George Dyson's user avatar

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