Other Physicists

Wallace Clement Sabine 1868-1919
American
founded the science of architectural acoustics
Arnold Sommerfeld 1868-1951
German
generalized the circular orbits of the atomic Bohr model to elliptical orbits; introduced the magnetic quantum number; used statistical mechanics to explain the electronic properties of metals
Lise Meitner 1878-1968
Austrian-born Swedish
co-discovered the element protactinium and studied the effects of neutron bombardment on uranium; introduced term “fission” for splitting the atomic nucleus
Paul Ehrenfest 1880-1933
Austrian
applied quantum mechanics to rotating bodies; helped develop the modern statistical theory of nonequilibrium thermodynamics
Theodor von Kármán 1881-1963
Hungarian-born American
provided major contributions to our understanding of fluid mechanics, turbulence theory, and supersonic flight
Walther Meissner 1882-1974
German
co-discovered the “Meissner effect”, whereby a superconductor expells a magnetic field
Hans Geiger 1883-1945
German
helped measure charge-to-mass ratio for alpha particles; invented Geiger counter for detecting ionizing particles
Hermann Weyl 1885-1955
German
attempted to incorporate electromagnetism into general relativity; evolved the concept of continuous groups using matrix representations and applied group theory to quantum mechanics
Arthur Jeffrey Dempster 1886-1950
Canadian-born American
discovered the isotope uranium-235
Henry Moseley 1887-1915
British
developed the modern form of the period table of elements based on their atomic numbers
Sir Robert Watson-Watt 1892-1973
Scottish
developed radar
Satyendra Bose 1894-1974
Indian
worked out statistical method of handling bosons (a group of particles named in his honor)
Oskar Klein 1894-1977
Swedish
introduced the physical notion of extra dimensions that helped develop the Kaluza-Klein theory; co-developed the Klein-Gordon equation describing the relativistic behavior of spinless particles; co-developed the Klein-Nishina formula describing relativistic electron-photon scattering
Vladimir A. Fock 1898-1974
Russian
made fundamental contributions to quantum theory; invented the Hartree-Fock approximation method and the notion of Fock space
Leo Szilard 1898-1964
Hungarian-born American
first suggested possibility of a nuclear chain reaction
Pierre Auger 1899-1993
French
discovered the Auger effect whereby an electron is ejected from an atom without the emission of an x-ray or gamma-ray photon as the result of the de-excitation of an excited electron within the atom; discovered cosmic-ray air showers
Ernst Ising 1900-1998
German-born American
developed the Ising model of ferromagnetism
Fritz London 1900-1954
German-born American
co-developed the phenomenological theory of superconductivity; co-developed the first quantum-mechanical treatment of the hydrogen molecule; determined that the electromagnetic gauge is the phase of the Schrödinger wave function
Charles Francis Richter 1900-1985
American
established the Richter scale for the measurement of earthquake intensity
George E. Uhlenbeck 1900-1988
Dutch
co-discovered that the electron has an intrinsic spin
Robert J. Van de Graaf 1901-1967
American
invented the Van de Graaf electrostatic generator
Samuel Abraham Goudsmit 1902-1978
Dutch
co-discovered that the electron has an intrinsic spin
Igor Vasilievich Kurchatov 1903-1960
Soviet
headed the Soviet atomic and hydrogen bomb programs
John von Neumann 1903-1957
Hungarian-born American
formulated a fully quantum mechanical generalization of statistical mechanics
George Gamow 1904-1968
Russian-born American
first suggested hydrogen fusion as source of solar energy
J. Robert Oppenheimer 1904-1967
American
headed Manhattan Project to develop the nuclear fission bomb
Sir Rudolf Peierls 1907-1995
German-born British
many contributions in theoretical physics, including an improved calculation of the critical mass needed to make a fission bomb
Edward Teller 1908-2003
Hungarian-born American
helped develop atomic and hydrogen bombs
Victor F. Weisskopf 1908-2002
Austrian-born American
made theoretical contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear structure, and elementary particle physics
Homi Jehangir Bhabha 1909-1966
Indian
initiated nuclear research programs in India; carried out experiments in cosmic rays; calculated cross section for elastic electron-positron scattering
Nikolai N. Bogolubov 1909-1992
Russian
theoretical physicist and mathematician who contributed to the microscopic theory of superfluidity; also contributed to theory of elementary particles, including the S-matrix and dispersion relations, and to nonlinear mechanics and the general theory of dynamical systems
Maurice Goldhaber 1911-2011
Austrian-born American
first measured (with James Chadwick) an accurate mass for the neutron; participated in experiments proving that beta rays are identical to atomic electrons; developed (with Edward Teller) the concept of coherent oscillations of protons and neutrons in nuclei leading to the giant dipole resonance; performed an experiment showing that neutrinos are created with negative helicity, which provided conclusive evidence for the V-A theory of weak interactions; participated in experiments that obtained an upper limit on the rate of proton decay and that provided evidence for neutrino oscillations
Chien-Shiung Wu 1912-1997
Chinese-born American
experimentally proved that parity is not conserved in nuclear beta decay
Henry Primakoff 1914-1983
Russian-born American
co-developed the theory of spin waves; first described the process that became known as the “Primakoff effect” (the coherent photoproduction of neutral mesons in the electric field of an atomic nucleus); contributed to understanding of various manifestations of the weak interaction, including muon capture, double-beta decay, and the interaction of neutrinos with nuclei
Robert Rathbun Wilson 1914-2000
American
driving force behind creation of Fermilab and Cornell University’s Laboratory of Nuclear Studies; a leader in the formation of the Federation of Atomic Scientists; did extensive measurements of kaon and pion photoproduction in which he made the first observation of a new state of the nucleon, N(1440)
Vitaly L. Ginzburg 1916-2009
Russian
contributed to theory of superconductivity and theory of high-energy processes in astrophysics; co-discovered transition radiation, emitted when charged particles traverse interface between two different media
Robert E. Marshak 1916-1993
American
contributed to theoretical particle physics; independently proposed (with George Sudarshan) the V-A theory of weak interactions; developed explanation of how shock waves behave under conditions of extremely high temperatures
Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky 1919-2007
German-born American
co-discovered the neutral pion via photoproduction; studied gamma rays from pi captured in hydrogen and first measured the “Panofsky ratio”
Robert V. Pound 1919-2010
Canadian-born American
used the Mössbauer effect to measure (with Glen A. Rebka, Jr.) the gravitational redshift predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity
Vernon W. Hughes 1921-2003
American
participated in experiments to test the fundamental QED interaction using the muonium atom
Freeman J. Dyson 1923-
British-born American
made many important contribututions to quantum field theory, including the demonstration that the Feynman rules are direct and rigorous consequences of quantum field theory; advocated exploration of the solar system by humans; speculated on the possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations
Calvin F. Quate 1923-
American
made pioneering contributions to nanoscale measurement science through the development and application of scanning probe microscropes
Lincoln Wolfenstein 1923-
American
contributed to theory of weak interactions, especially concerning neutrino masses, the origin of CP violation, lepton number violation, the solar neutrino problem, and Higgs boson properties
James E. Zimmerman 1923-1999
American
co-invented the radio-frequency superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), a practical magnetometer/amplifier with extreme sensitivity limited only by the uncertainty principle
Felix Hans Boehm 1924-
Swiss-born American
pioneered the use of nuclear-physics techniques for exploring fundamental questions concerning the weak interactions and the nature of neutrinos
Ernest M. Henley 1924-
German-born American
contributed to the theoretical understanding of how symmetries place restrictions on theories and models; the connection of quarks and gluons to nucleon-meson degrees of freedom; the changes that occur when hadrons are placed in a nuclear medium
Benoit Mandelbrot 1924-2010
French-American
developed theory of fractals
D. Allan Bromley 1926-2005
Canadian
served as Science Advisor to the President of the United States; carried out pioneering studies of nuclear structure and dynamics; considered the father of modern heavy-ion science
Sidney D. Drell 1926-
American
made important theoretical contributions to particle physics and quantum electrodynamics; specialist in arms control and national security
Albert V. Crewe 1927-2009
British-born American
developed the first practical scanning electron microscope
John Stewart Bell 1928-1990
Irish
proved the inherent nonlocality of quantum mechanics
Stanley Mandelstam 1928-
South African
contributed to the modern understanding of relativistic particle scattering through his representation of the analytic properties of scattering amplitudes in the form of double dispersion relations (Mandelstam representation); applied path-integral quantization methods to string theory
Peter Higgs 1929-
British
proposed with others the Higgs mechanism by which particles are endowed with mass by interacting with the Higgs field, which is carried by Higgs bosons
Akito Arima 1930-
Japanese
co-developed the Interacting Boson Model of the atomic nucleus
Mildred S. Dresselhaus 1930-
American
contributed to the advance of solid-state physics, especially involving carbon-based materials, including fullerenes and nanotubes (a.k.a., buckyballs and buckytubes)
Joel Lebowitz 1930-
Swiss-born American
contributed to condensed matter theory, especially involving statistical mechanics: phase transitions; derivation of hydrodynamical equations from microscopic kinetics; statistical mechanics of plasmas
John P. Schiffer 1930-
American
studied nuclear structure, pion absorption in nuclei, ion traps and crystalline beams, heavy-ion physics, and the Mössbauer effect
T. Kenneth Fowler 1931-
American
contributed to the theory of plasma physics and magnetic fusion
Tullio Regge 1931-
Italian
developed the theory of Regge trajectories by investigating the asymptotic behavior of potential-scattering processes through the analytic continuation of the angular momentum to the complex plane
Oscar Wallace Greenberg 1932-
American
introduced color as a quantum number to resolve the quark statistics paradox
John Dirk Walecka 1932-
American
contributed to the theoretical understanding of the atomic nucleus as a relativistic quantum many-body system; provided theoretical guidance in exploiting electromagnetic and weak probes of the nucleus
Daniel Kleppner 1932-
American
co-invented the hydrogen maser; explores quantum chaos by optical spectroscopy of Rydberg atoms
Jeffrey Goldstone 1933-
American
contributed to understanding the role of massless particles in spontaneous symmetry breaking (Goldstone bosons)
John N. Bahcall 1934-2005
American
made important theoretical contributions to understanding solar neutrinos and quasars
James D. Bjorken 1934-
American
formulated the scaling law for deep inelastic processes and made other outstanding contributions to particle physics and quantum field theory
Ludvig Faddeev 1934-
Russian
made many theoretical contributions in quantum field theory and mathematical physics; developed the Faddeev equation in connection with the three-body system; co-developed the Faddeev-Popov covariant prescription for quantizing non-Abelian gauge theories; contributed to the quantum inverse scattering method and the quantum theory of solitons
David J. Thouless 1934-
American
contributed to condensed matter theory, especially vortices in superfluids, the quantum Hall effect, and topological quantum numbers
Peter A. Carruthers 1935-1997
American
contributed to several areas of theoretical physics, including condensed matter, quantum optics, elementary particle physics, and field theory; statistics and dynamics of galaxy distributions
Gordon A. Baym 1935-
American
contributed to several areas of theoretical physics, including condensed matter, low-temperature physics including superfluidity, statistical physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics; made advances in quantum statistical mechanics and the study of neutron stars
Stanley J. Brodsky 1940-
American
contributed to theoretical understanding of high-energy physics, especially the quark-gluon structure of hadrons in quantum chromodynamics
Haim Harari 1940-
Israeli
predicted the existence of the top quark, which he named; also named the bottom quark
Kip S. Thorne 1940-
American
contributed to theoretical understanding of black holes and gravitational radiation; co-founded the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Project (LIGO)
Francesco Iachello 1942-
Italian-born American
co-developed the Interacting Boson Model of the atomic nucleus; introduced supersymmetry in nuclei (1980); developed the Vibron Model of molecules (1981)
Gabriele Veneziano 1942-
Italian
first introduced string theory to describe the strong force without using quantum fields
Chris Quigg 1944-
American
contributed to theoretical understanding of high-energy collisions and the fundamental interactions of elementary particles
Thomas A. Witten 1944-
American
contributed to theory of soft condensed matter; structured fluids
Howard Georgi 1947-
American
co-developed the SU(5) and SO(10) grand unified theories of all elementary particle forces; developed the modern QCD-inspired quark model; helped develop the modern theory of perturbative QCD
Nathan Isgur 1947-2001
American
contributed to understanding the quark structure of baryon resonances; discovered a new symmetry of nature that describes the behavior of heavy quarks
Edward Witten 1951-
American
made fundamental contributions to manifold theory, string theory, and the theory of supersymmetric quantum mechanics
Ralph Charles Merkle 1952-
American
leading theorist of molecular nanotechnology; invented the encryption technology that allows secure translations over the internet
K. Eric Drexler 1955-
American
father of nanotechnology
Nathan Seiberg 1956-
American
contributed to the development of supersymmetric field theories and string theories in various dimensions
Stephen Wolfram 1959-
British
created Mathematica, the first modern computer algebra system; contributed to development of complexity theory