19

The general question is difficult to answer. Why were the British and Dutch scientists of 17-th century so impressive? Why was French science of the 18-th and 19-th century so impressive, especially in the early part of 19-th century ? The only thing which is clearly seen, is the correlation of these periods with vigorous economic development of these ...


16

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 attendance of the Chapel Hill conference (on general relativity) made such a bad impression on him that he never attended another conference on that theme, so ...


15

The most famous mathematicians who were the members of NSDAP are Ludwig Bieberbach and Oswald Teichmuller.


13

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 relativity theory, and he became Einstein’s greatest champion in the world of science and one of his closest personal friends. [page 83] [Einstein's 1905 paper on ...


10

It is difficult to say what Max Planck really thought on the topic, but I suspect that there is nothing special here about Max Planck: exclusion of women was common at that time. In many German and other European universities women were explicitly excluded by university regulations. Apparently a professor could make an exception for some particular student, ...


9

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 Brain", Carl Sagan gives some excellent insight into Einsteins biography: (I think this an accurate reprint of the original piece) Einstein dropped out of school ...


9

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 how that implies conclusions in the last paragraph. If Schwinger or Coleman took it seriously they wouldn't be privately joking about it with Feynman, they'd be ...


9

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 amplitude, see Dirac's remark that inspired Feynman when formulating path integral on Physics SE. But he did not come up with the suggestive intuition of ...


8

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 expression for entropy of an ideal oscillator involved in the original derivation of the black body radiation law. To do so, he had to assume that energy is split into "...


8

The mathematician who would be famous if he was no member of the ss / nazi party /died in a POW camp is I think Gerhard Gentzen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Gentzen He invented/rigouously described natural deduction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_deduction and sequent calculus but is well writtten out of the history In philosophy ...


8

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: This constant value, when we measure $e/m$ in the c.g.s. system of magnetic units, is equal to about $1.7\times10^7$. If we compare this with the value of the ...


7

For some detail, see : John L. Heilbron, The Dilemmas of an Upright Man : Max Planck As Spokesman for German Science (1987), page 37, regarding Planck's attitude towards women and academic life. Regarding Boltzmann's student, Lise Meitner, see page 38-39 : [After Boltzmann's suicide in 1906] Meitner went to Berlin, where with Planck's help she obtained ...


6

After the Second World War, Operation Paperclip was started to bring certain top German scientists to America. Many of these had worked on military applications for the Nazis (developing rockets etc.), and some may have been involved with the Nazis in other capacities as well. A short list of the more famous scientists includes Wernher von Braun Kurt Tank -...


6

Dunno if they ever met in person. There's an interesting video (one of several sites available) which states that Feynman came up with the "Hawking Radiation" theory well before Hawking did, but didn't publish. A partial transcript (I cannot speak to its authenticity) from a blog : In 1972 before Hawking came out with the Hawking radiation formula. ...


6

I will reduce the detailed history to principal highlights. Any of the physicists mentioned below can be considered "fathers" of string theory depending on which aspect of it is considered "the core". The problem with a straightforward answer is that the mathematical formalism was originally developed for purposes that had little to do with modern string ...


6

Boltzmann. He is one of the main founders of atomic theory. Atomic theory was strongly criticized on philosophical grounds, by some prominent philosophers, including Mach. Boltzmann committed suicide in a state of depression in 1906. I do not claim that criticism was the only reason of this depression, but I suspect it contributed to it. The paper of ...


5

To save you the bother, here's the relevant excerpt from the link posted in the other answer: Weiner: Were you majoring in mathematics? Feynman: Oh, yes. That’s interesting. At first I was in the mathematics course. It doesn’t make any difference what course you are in, really, very much. For the first year or so you take more or less the same ...


5

Read the Feynman interview at aip.org/history/ohilist/5020_2.html. Pretty early in the interview he says that he started as a math major, but it was getting abstract so he asked one of the professors in the MIT math department what abstract math was good for besides teaching it. He did not get a satisfactory answer, so he switched to electrical engineering ...


5

I’m afraid he no longer cared. According to Boltzmann biographer E. Broda (1981): (p. 9): One might have thought Boltzmann would, after 1900, in lectures and writings refer to Planck’s work on radiation, made possible by adoption of his own, Boltzmann’s, statistical methods. This was not the case, however. While Boltzmann continued to lecture and publish ...


5

Hermann von Helmholtz not only had a formal education in medicine but even made his living of it for some time. Further in the past this was quite common among naturalists, philosophers and mathematicians, but designation of profession as "theoretical physicist" narrows the time frame. There is no doubt however that Helmgoltz was a theoretical physicist, ...


4

There is an indirect connection between the works of Lenard and the Curies. This link is exactly the work of Röntgen and the influence it had. Let me expand on this a bit. Lenard was unhappy that the public attributed the discovery of X-rays entirely to Röntgen. He believed that he should also be acknowledged, because Röntgen's discoveries were made by ...


4

He introduced groupoids and did some work on quadratic forms and quaternions, but I don't think he is considered a famous scientist: Heinrich Brandt. However, he was a very active Nazi, being a member of some Nazi organisations and most notably, he was a Förderndes Mitglied der SS. (According to German Wikipedia, referencing Harry Waibel, Diener vieler ...


4

Another well documented example is Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar ... "Chandra" who gave the first mathematical description of black holes. His conflict with Sir Arthur Eddington is portrayed by Arthur I. Miller in Empire of the Stars: Obsession, Friendship, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes. Also see K.C. Wali, "Chandrasekhar vs. Eddington: An ...


4

The German/Prussian education system was based on two pillars: The first was a mandatory comprehensive primary public school education with the aim to provide literacy, numeracy and good educational background for everybody (primary school = Volksschule). Even the most deserted villages got their “Volksschule”. The follow up secondary and “Gymnasium” ...


4

You have correctly pointed at Wiki's quotation from Galileo's Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632) where the thought experiments regarding the "composition of motions" in what we today call "inretial frames" (e.g. the fall of a ball from the mast of a sailing ship) are discussed at lenght (...


4

This seems relevant: ${}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}$ Image obtained from Chapter 9 of A Brief History of String Theory: From Dual Models to M-Theory by Dean Rickles. Its legend in the book reads: Extract from Weinberg's letter of support for John Schwarz's nomination for California Scientist of the Year. Image source Caltech archives [letter dated Feb. 13, 1986; ...


4

One name that comes to mind is Alfred Kleiner, Einstein's doctoral advisor, although he was more distinguished as an experimentalist than a theoretician. He graduated as a medical student from the University of Zurich in 1872, and obtained bis Dr. Med in 1874. During his Berlin studies in 1873-1879 he became attracted to physics, and worked as an assistant ...


4

Curious award, issued by Northrop Grumman Corp., the common abbreviation seems to be "Grumman medal". Appears to be out of circulation since 1990s. Aside from Wilson (1986) and Ufimtsev (1991), some recipients were Paul Chu (1987), Russell Messier (1987), Burt Rutan (1989), John Huizenga (see p.50) (1991), and Edward Stone (see p.37) (?). Unfortunately, ...


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