physics

George Uhlenbeck and the Electron Spin

George Uhlenbeck and the Electron Spin

On December 6, 1900, Dutch-American theoretical physicist George Eugene Uhlenbeck was born. Together with with Samuel A. Goudsmit, Uhlenbeck proposed the concept of electron spin (Jan 1925) – a fourth quantum number which was a half integer. George Uhlenbeck was the son of Eugenius Uhlenbeck, who served in the Dutch East Indian Army, and Anne Beeger Uhlenbeck, the daughter of a Dutch major general. He attended the Hogere Burgerschool (High…
Heinrich Barkhausen and the Barkhausen Effect

Heinrich Barkhausen and the Barkhausen Effect

On December 2, 1881, German physicist Heinrich Barkhausen was born. Barkhausen discovered the Barkhausen effect (1919), a principle concerning changes in the magnetic properties of metal. With K. Kurz, he invented the Barkhausen-Kurz oscillator, the first vacuum tube electronic oscillator to use electron transit-time effects. Heinrich Barkhausen studied at the Technical University of Munich, the University of Munich, and the University of Berlin. Barkhausen earned his doctorate at the University of…
Julius Mayer – Energy can neither be created or destroyed

Julius Mayer – Energy can neither be created or destroyed

On November 25, 1814, German physician and physicist Julius Robert Mayer was born. He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law thermodynamics, namely that “energy can be neither created nor destroyed”. It is believed that already as a child, Julius Mayer showed interest with mechanical mechanisms…
Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

On November 24, 1944, Indian atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan was born. He has contributed to many areas of the atmospheric sciences including developments to general circulation models, atmospheric chemistry, and radiative transfer. But, he is best known for his 1999 discovery of the “Asian Brown Cloud” – wandering layers of air pollution as wide as a continent and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Veerabhadran Ramanathan received his bachelor’s degree in engineering…
Herbert Eugene Ives and the Ives-Stilwell Experiment

Herbert Eugene Ives and the Ives-Stilwell Experiment

On November 13, 1953, US-American scientist and engineer Herbert Eugene Ives passed away. Ives headed the development of facsimile and television systems at AT&T. He is best known for the 1938 Ives–Stilwell experiment, which provided direct confirmation of special relativity’s time dilation, although Ives himself did not accept special relativity, and argued instead for an alternative interpretation of the experimental results. Herbert Eugene Ives studied at the University of Pennsylvania…
C. V. Raman and the Raman Effect

C. V. Raman and the Raman Effect

On November 7 1888, Indian physicist and Nobel Laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born. Raman carried out ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering, which earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. He discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This phenomenon, subsequently known as Raman scattering, results from the Raman effect. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman first studied at the…
Sir Joseph Rotblat and the Nuclear Test Ban

Sir Joseph Rotblat and the Nuclear Test Ban

On November 4, 1908, Polish physicist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Joseph Rotblat was born. Rotblat was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project (1942–46) on the grounds of conscience. Rotblat’s work on nuclear fallout was a major contribution toward the ratification of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. A signatory of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto (1955), he was secretary-general of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs…
Donald Kerst and the Betatron

Donald Kerst and the Betatron

On November 1, 1911, American physicist Donald William Kerst was born. Kerst worked on advanced particle accelerator concepts (accelerator physics) and plasma physics. He is most notable for his development of the betatron, a novel type of particle accelerator used to accelerate electrons. Donald Kerst earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1934. In 1937, he received his PhD for his thesis on “The Development of…
Gustav Hertz and the Franck-Hertz Experiment

Gustav Hertz and the Franck-Hertz Experiment

On October 30, 1975, German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gustav Ludwig Hertz passed away. A nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925 together with James Franck for the Franck-Hertz experiment, which confirmed the quantum theory that energy can be absorbed by an atom only in definite amounts and provided an important confirmation of the Bohr atomic model. Gustav Hertz was born in…
Pascual Jordan and Quantum Mechanics

Pascual Jordan and Quantum Mechanics

On October 18, 1902, theoretical and mathematical physicist Pascual Jordan was born. Jordan made significant contributions to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. He contributed much to the mathematical form of matrix mechanics, and developed canonical anticommutation relations for fermions. Pascual Jordan was born in Hanover, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, as son of Ernst Pasqual Jordan (1858-1924), a painter of landscapes and portraits, and Eva Fischer. One of his…
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