physics

Jean Baptiste Perrin and the Brownian Motion

Jean Baptiste Perrin and the Brownian Motion

On September 30, 1870, French physicist Jean Baptiste Perrin was born. In his studies of the Brownian motion of minute particles suspended in liquids, Perrin verified Albert Einstein’s explanation of this phenomenon and thereby confirmed the atomic nature of matter. In 1897, Jean Baptiste Perrin earned his PhD and was appointed lecturer at Sorbonne, Paris. Perrin was announced professor at the university in 1910 and held the position until the German occupation…
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John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

On September 24, 1907, US-American physicist John Ray Dunning was born. Dunning played key roles in the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs. He specialized in neutron physics, and did pioneering work in gaseous diffusion for isotope separation. John Ray Dunning – Early Years John Ray Dunning was born in Shelby, Nebraska, USA, the son of Albert Chester Dunning, a grain dealer, and his wife Josephine. He graduated from Shelby High…
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Donald Glaser and the Bubble Chamber

Donald Glaser and the Bubble Chamber

On September 21, 1926, American physicist, neurobiologist and Nobel Laureate Donald Arthur Glaser was born. Glaser was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the bubble chamber used in subatomic particle physics. “Physics is a wrong tool to describe living systems” – Donald Glaser Arthur Donald Glaser – Early Years Donald Arthur Glaser was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of businessman William J. Glaser and his wife Lena Glaser.…
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Edwin McMillan and his Research on Transuranium Elements

Edwin McMillan and his Research on Transuranium Elements

On September 18, 1907, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Edwin Mattison McMillan was born. McMillan is credited with being the first ever to produce a transuranium element, neptunium. For this, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951. Edwin McMillan – Early Years Edwin McMillan, the son of physicist Dr. Edwin Harbaugh McMillan and his wife Anne Marie McMillan, née Mattison, grew up in Pasadena, California. He entered…
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The first Observation of Gravitational Waves

The first Observation of Gravitational Waves

On September 14, 2015, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration observed gravitational waves from a 410 megaparsec (1.3 billion light years) distant merger of two black holes. Previously, gravitational waves had only been inferred only indirectly, via their effect on the timing of pulsars in binary star systems. It was also the first observation of a binary black hole merger, demonstrating both the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systens, and the fact that…
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Arthur Holly Compton and the Compton Effect

Arthur Holly Compton and the Compton Effect

On September 10, 1890, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Arthur Holly Compton was born. Compton won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927 for his discovery of the Compton effect, which demonstrated the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. It was a sensational discovery at the time: the wave nature of light had been well-demonstrated, but the idea that light had both wave and particle properties was not easily accepted. Arthur Holly Compton…
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Francis William Aston and the Mass Spectrograph

Francis William Aston and the Mass Spectrograph

On September 1, 1877, English chemist, physicist, and Nobel Laureate Francis William Aston was born. Aston won the 1922 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery, by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes, in a large number of non-radioactive elements, and for his enunciation of the whole number rule. Francis William Aston – Early Years Francis William Aston was born in Harborne, now part of Birmingham, UK, as the third child and second…
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Louis Essen and the Precise Measurement of Time

Louis Essen and the Precise Measurement of Time

On August 24, 1997, English physicist Louis Essen FRS, O.B.E passed away. Essen’s most notable achievements were in the precise measurement of time and the determination of the speed of light. He invented the quartz crystal ring clock and the first practical atomic clock. These devices were capable of measuring time more accurately than any previous clocks. He built a cesium-beam atomic clock, a device that ultimately changed the way time is measured.…
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Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

On August 12, 1887, Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger was born. Schrödinger developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave function. Although many of you are not physicists, you…
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Wolfgang Paul and the Quadrupole Ion Trap

Wolfgang Paul and the Quadrupole Ion Trap

On August 10, 1913, German physicist Wolfgang Paul was born. Paul co-developed the non-magnetic quadrupole mass filter which laid the foundation for what we now call an ion trap. He shared one-half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1989 for this work with Hans Georg Dehmelt; the other half of the Prize in that year was awarded to Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr. Ion traps can be used as a component of…
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