physics

Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

On October 9, 1943, Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman passed away. Zeeman shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, the effect of splitting a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. Youth and Education Pieter Zeeman was born on 25 May 1865 in Zonnemaire, a small town on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, Netherlands, to Catharinus Forandinus Zeeman, a minister of…
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Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

On September 28, 1860, French chemist and physicist Paul Ulrich Villard was born. Villard is best known for having discovered gamma rays in 1900 while studying the radiation emanating from radium. Youth and Education Paul Villard was born in Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône, France. Villard entered the École Normal Supérieure in 1881 and received the agrégé in 1884, which gave him the license to teach at any secondary school financed by the government.[2] After…
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Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

On September 13, 1831, Scottish physicist Andrew Noble was born. Noble was a gunnery expert, known as a founder of the science of ballistics. He invented the chronoscope, a device for measuring very small time intervals, and used it to measure the velocity of shot in gun barrels. Born at Greenock, Andrew Noble was educated at Edinburgh Academy and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1849.…
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Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

On September 6, 1906, Argentine physicist and biochemist Luis Federico Leloir was born. Leloir received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the metabolic pathways in lactose, becoming only the third Argentine to receive the prestigious honor in any field. His research has led to significant progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the congenital disease galactosemia. Leloir’s parents, Federico Leloir and Hortensia Aguirre de Leloir, both from an old and…
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Victor Ambartsumian and Theoretical Astrophysics

Victor Ambartsumian and Theoretical Astrophysics

On September 5, 1908, Soviet astronomer and astrophysicist Viktor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian was born. Ambartsumian is well known as one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics. He worked in the field of physics of stars and nebulae, stellar astronomy, dynamics of stellar systems and cosmogony of stars and galaxies, and contributed to mathematical physics. Early Years Victor Ambartsumian was the son of the prominent philologist and writer Hamazasp Asaturovich Ambartsumian, the translator of Homer’s Iliad…
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Carl Størmer and the Mathematical Model of the Formation of Aurorae

Carl Størmer and the Mathematical Model of the Formation of Aurorae

On September 3, 1874, Norwegian mathematician and geophysicist Carl Størmer was born. Carl Størmer is known both for his work in number theory and for studying the movement of charged particles in the magnetosphere and the formation of aurorae. He also contributed both important photographic observations and mathematical data to the understanding of the polar aurora, of stratospheric and mesospheric clouds, and of the structure of the ionosphere. The discovery of the Van Allen…
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André Blondel and the Oscillograph

André Blondel and the Oscillograph

On August 28, 1863, French engineer and physicist André-Eugène Blondel was born. Blondel is the inventor of the electromechanical oscillograph, a device that allowed electrical researchers to observe the intensity of alternating currents, and a system of photometric units of measurement, such as the lumen and other new photometric units for use in photometry, based on the metre and the Violle candle. André Blondel was the only son of Hippolyte Blondel (1823-1918)3 and Noémie…
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Norman Ramsey and the Oscillatory Field Method

Norman Ramsey and the Oscillatory Field Method

On August 27, 1915, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Norman Foster Ramsey Jr. was born. Ramsey was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics, for the invention of the separated oscillatory field method, which had important applications in the construction of atomic clocks. “You have to get a little untrapped from too much prior knowledge.” — Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr., explaining what’s the best way of thinking, in an oral history conducted…
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Georges Charpak and the Multiwire Proportional Chamber

Georges Charpak and the Multiwire Proportional Chamber

On August 1, 1924, French physicist and Nobel Laureate Georges Charpak was born. Charpak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1992 for his invention and development of subatomic particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber, a breakthrough in the technique for exploring the innermost parts of matter. “If there’s one thing to do, it’s to engage in education.” George Charpak Youth in the French Resistance and Detention Georges Charpak…
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Charles H. Townes and the Invention of the Maser

Charles H. Townes and the Invention of the Maser

On July 28, 1915, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Charles Hard Townes was born. Townes was known for his work concerning the theory and application of the maser, for which he obtained the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics associated with both maser and laser devices. “I feel that very rarely have I done any work in my life. I have a good time. I’m exploring. I’m playing a game,…
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