Κυριακή, 28 Μαρτίου 2010

Οι δοξασμένοι Φυσικοί σε κάρτες αλφαβητικά (1-18)


Το 2005 (Έτος Φυσικής) το περιοδικό Physics Teacher μαζί με τα τεύχη έστειλε μια σειρά καρτών με 54 Φυσικούς που θεμέλιωσαν τη Φυσική ως τις μέρες μας. Πίσω από κάθε κάρτα είχε ένα βιογραφικό λίγων λέξεων.
Προτίμησα να αφήσω τα κείμενα στο πρωτότυπο, για την αποφυγή λαθών στη μετάφραση. Εξάλλου τα Αγγλικά που χρησιμοποιεί δείχνουν νάναι απλά, υπάρχει ακόμη και ο μεταφραστής Google.






1) Luis Alvarez (1911-1988) Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
(Nobel Prize: 1968)
Alvarez was an ingenious and prolific experimenter. With Geiger counters he showed that incoming cosmic rays are mostly positive, with bubble chambers he discovered nucleon resonances, and with antenna arrays he refined the use of radar. He used cosmic – ray muons to probe for burial chambers in Egyptian pyramids, and radioactivity to detect a comet collision with the Earth that may have exterminated the dinosaurs.

2) John Bardeen (1908-1991) Birthplace: Madison, WI
(Nobel Prizes: 1956, 1972)
No one else has won two Nobel Prizes in physics. Bardeen was coinventor of the transistor, and the codeveloper of the BCS theory of superconductivity. Practical applications of his work have revolutionized our civilization, and his analytical methods have transformed theoretical research in condensed physics.

3) Herman R. Branson (1914-1995) Birthplace: Pocahontas, VA Branson’s primary research interests were mathematical biology and the structure of proteins. His collaboration with Robert B. Coney and Linus B. Pauling led to the identification of the alpha and gamma helical structure of proteins. His other efforts included experimental and theoretical investigations of the use of radioactive isotopes as tracers, and electron impact studies of small organic molecules. Following a research career of more than decades, Branson went on the serve as president of two historically black universities.

4) Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995) Birthplace: Lahore, IndiaNobel Price: 1983. Chandrasekhar attacked several fields of theoretical physics, in each case producing a definitive analysis of the field. He was the first to propose the mechanism for the collapse of stars that degenerate to white dwarfs. In studying stellar dynamics, he made major advances in our understanding of hydrodynamics, hydromagnetics, and radiative energy transfer.

5) Richard P. Feyman (1918-1988) Birthplace: New York, NY
(Nobel Price: 1965)
The all-American kid from Brooklyn. From his teaching to his popular books to his profound work on electromagnetism, all his contributions had a unique flair. We use the Feynman diagrams and gain new insights from the Feynman lectures derived from a freshman course. He loved physics with zest and, in his own words, was a “curious character”.

6) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Birthplace: Boston, MA Publisher, bon vivant, patriot, and diplomat, Franklin’s role as a scientist was recognized more in Europe than in the United States. The article on electricity in the original Encyclopaedia Britannica (1775) is filled with references to the research of the inverse-square law to the problem of shielding. Eripuit coelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis.

7) Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Birthplace: Pisa, ItalyGalileo devised and used a telescope to discover the moons of Jupiter, craters of the Moon, moving spots on the Sun, and the phases of Venus, all powerful evidence in favor of Copernican model of the solar system. His Dialogues laid the ground-work of kinematics, which led to Newton’s dynamics. Threatened by Inquisition in his old age, he publicly renounced his belief that the Earth moves around the Sun, but according to legend, whispered “Nevertheless, it moves”

8) George Gamow (1904-1968) Birthplace: Odessa, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) Gamow applied quantum mechanics to the problem of the alpha decay and showed that the alphas must tunnel through the nuclear potential barrier. He proposed the general scheme for the origin of the universe now known as the big bang theory, calculating (with R. Alpher) the production of the light elements during the explosion and predicting the existence of primordial electromagnetic radiation. Among his many books popularizing science is Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland

9) J. Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) Birthplace: New Haven, CT At age 32 Gibbs was appointed a full professor at Yale. He was without doubt he pre-eminent U.S. theoretical physicist in his era, yet very few Americans knew about him. He published fundamental but highly abstract papers on thermodynamics in an obscure journal, and was understood by only a few of his peers in Europe such as Maxwell. Now we realize that he laid the foundations for chemical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

10) Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) Birthplace: Postdam, Germany.Helmholtz’s contributions to science cover a range of topics: optics, acoustic, mechanics, hydrodynamics, electromagnetism, mathematics, and medicine. Best known as a codisoverer (with Joule and Julius Mayer) of the law of conservation of energy, he expanded Young’s three color theory of vision, now known as the Young – Helmholtz theory. He formulated the resonance theory of hearing, implemented the use of resonators (now called Helmholtz resonators) in analyzing complex sounds, and made notable contributions to music theory. He constructed a generalized form of electromagnetic theory; the electromagnetic wave equation is named in his honor.

11) William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) (1824-1907) Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland.Thomson made important contributions to several areas of physics, but was first and foremost a teacher, serving for 53 years as professor of natural philosophy at the Univ. of Glasgow. He published 660 papers on subjects including thermodynamics, optics, elasticity, electricity and magnetism, hydrodynamics, and navigation. In 1848 he proposed an absolute scale of temperature, and he later collaborated with Joule in working out the Joule-Thomson effect. He also invented an improved navigation compass, the mirror galvanometer, and an analog tide predictor.

12) Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) Birthplace: Weil der Stadt, Germany.Kepler discovered the arrangement of the solar system. By taking the astronomical data accumulated by Tyho Brade and fitting them to the Copernican model of planets orbiting the Sun, Kepler showed that the orbits were ellipses, and the periods and radial distances were related in a simple way. This set stage for Newton to derive the relationships from fundamentals laws of dynamics and the inverse-square law.

13) James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) Birthplace: Edinburg, Scotland.Maxwell is the best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory. In the words of Einstein, “The special theory of relatively owes its origins to Maxwell equations of the electromagnetic field”. His other major contributions to the advancement of science included formulating, independently of Ludwig Boltzmann, the Maxwell-Boltzmann kinetic theory of gases.

14) Emmy Amalie Noether (1882-1935) Birthplace: Erlangen, GermanyNoether discovered and proved two theorems, and their converses, that have profoundly influenced modern physics. The theorems, known collectively as “Noethet’s theorem”, give a general relationship between symmetries in physics and conservation principles, and provide the formalism for understanding energy-momentum conversation in the theory of general relatively. But Noether’s theorem represents only a small fraction of her achievements. The bulk of her activity was in the development of modern abstract algebra.

15) Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851) Birthplace: Rudkobing, DenmarkGreat physicist, chemist (first to prepare metallic aluminum), and admired teacher. While giving a lecture demonstration, Oersted discovered that an electric current influenced a compass needle. He had found the missing link between electricity and magnetism for which he and many others had been searching.

16) Sir Joseph John Thomson (1846-1940) Birthplace: Cheetham Hill, Great Britain.
J.J Thomson’s experiment on electrical discharge in gases showed that cathode rays are in fact negatively charged particles having a single charge-to-mass ratio. Thomson believed these “electrons” to be fundamental constituents of all matter and proposed a model of the atom in which electrons are embedded in a sphere of positive charge. He also investigated the effects of electric and magnetic fields on positives ions, providing the first experiment evidence for the existence of isotopes.

17) Rosalyn Sussan Yalow (1921-) Birthdate: New York, NY
(Nobel Prize: 1977 Physiology of Medicine)
Yalow was a medical physicist who, in collaboration with S.A. Berson, developed methods of using radioactive isotopes to investigate physiological systems that allow detection of minute concentrations of biological or pharmacological substances in samples of body fluid. The methods are called radioimmunoassay (RIA). The RIA concept has led to innumerable innovations in research and practical applications. RIA may be used, for example, to screen blood in blood banks for hepatitis virus, determine dosage levels of drags and antibiotics, and treat and detect hormone-related health problems.

18) Chen Ning Yang (1922-) Birthplace: Hofei, Anhwei, China
(Nobel Prize: 1957)
“Frank” Yang predicted that one of the most fundamental laws, parity conservation, would be violated in the Weak interactions. Experiment confirmation of this effect caused a complete rethinking of the nature of symmetry principles and conversation laws. The Yang-Mills gauge theories are now basic to our understanding of particle physics.
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