Other Physicists

Wallace Clement Sabine 1868-1919
founded the science of architectural acoustics
Arnold Sommerfeld 1868-1951
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
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
co-discovered the “Meissner effect”, whereby a superconductor expells a magnetic field
Hans Geiger 1883-1945
helped measure charge-to-mass ratio for alpha particles; invented Geiger counter for detecting ionizing particles
Hermann Weyl 1885-1955
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
developed the modern form of the period table of elements based on their atomic numbers
Sir Robert Watson-Watt 1892-1973
developed radar
Satyendra Bose 1894-1974
worked out statistical method of handling bosons (a group of particles named in his honor)
Oskar Klein 1894-1977
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
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
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
established the Richter scale for the measurement of earthquake intensity
George E. Uhlenbeck 1900-1988
co-discovered that the electron has an intrinsic spin
Robert J. Van de Graaf 1901-1967
invented the Van de Graaf electrostatic generator
Samuel Abraham Goudsmit 1902-1978
co-discovered that the electron has an intrinsic spin
Igor Vasilievich Kurchatov 1903-1960
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
made pioneering contributions to nanoscale measurement science through the development and application of scanning probe microscropes
Lincoln Wolfenstein 1923-
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
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
developed theory of fractals
D. Allan Bromley 1926-2005
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-
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
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-
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-
co-developed the Interacting Boson Model of the atomic nucleus
Mildred S. Dresselhaus 1930-
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-
studied nuclear structure, pion absorption in nuclei, ion traps and crystalline beams, heavy-ion physics, and the Mössbauer effect
T. Kenneth Fowler 1931-
contributed to the theory of plasma physics and magnetic fusion
Tullio Regge 1931-
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-
introduced color as a quantum number to resolve the quark statistics paradox
John Dirk Walecka 1932-
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-
co-invented the hydrogen maser; explores quantum chaos by optical spectroscopy of Rydberg atoms
Jeffrey Goldstone 1933-
contributed to understanding the role of massless particles in spontaneous symmetry breaking (Goldstone bosons)
John N. Bahcall 1934-2005
made important theoretical contributions to understanding solar neutrinos and quasars
James D. Bjorken 1934-
formulated the scaling law for deep inelastic processes and made other outstanding contributions to particle physics and quantum field theory
Ludvig Faddeev 1934-
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-
contributed to condensed matter theory, especially vortices in superfluids, the quantum Hall effect, and topological quantum numbers
Peter A. Carruthers 1935-1997
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-
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-
contributed to theoretical understanding of high-energy physics, especially the quark-gluon structure of hadrons in quantum chromodynamics
Haim Harari 1940-
predicted the existence of the top quark, which he named; also named the bottom quark
Kip S. Thorne 1940-
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-
first introduced string theory to describe the strong force without using quantum fields
Chris Quigg 1944-
contributed to theoretical understanding of high-energy collisions and the fundamental interactions of elementary particles
Thomas A. Witten 1944-
contributed to theory of soft condensed matter; structured fluids
Howard Georgi 1947-
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
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-
made fundamental contributions to manifold theory, string theory, and the theory of supersymmetric quantum mechanics
Ralph Charles Merkle 1952-
leading theorist of molecular nanotechnology; invented the encryption technology that allows secure translations over the internet
K. Eric Drexler 1955-
father of nanotechnology
Nathan Seiberg 1956-
contributed to the development of supersymmetric field theories and string theories in various dimensions
Stephen Wolfram 1959-
created Mathematica, the first modern computer algebra system; contributed to development of complexity theory