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Linné on line arrow Physics and the Cosmos arrow Physics and the Cosmos, Persons

Physics and the Cosmos, Persons

Ampère, A.M. (1775–1836) French physicist and mathematician. Formulated a law for the force between two wires conducting electric currents. The unit for electric currents bears his name.
 
Anderson, C.D. (1905–1991) American physicist. Proved the existence of antimatter (positrons) by studying cosmic rays and gamma radiation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize 1936 for his discoveries.
 
Avogadro, A. (1776–1856) Italian physicist. In 1811 he derived the relation that a given volume of two different gases contains the same number of molecules if the pressure and temperature are the same.
 
Becquerel, H.A. (1852–1908) French physicist. In 1896 he discovered radiation from substances containing uranium. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1903 together with Marie and Pierre Curie for the discovery of radioactivity.
 
Bohr, N. (1885–1962) Danish physicist. Formulated the first quantum theory for the hydrogen atom. Showed that spectral lines are caused by transitions between the discrete energy levels of atomic electrons. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1922.
 
Boll, F. (1849–1879) German physiologist. Discovered the photosensitive pigment in the retina of frogs.
 
Born, M. (1882–1970) German physicist. Contributed to the early development of quantum mechanics. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1954.
 
Bragg, W.H. (1862–1942) English physicist. Received the Nobel Prize 1915, together with his son W. L. Bragg, for studies of the scattering of X-rays from crystals.
 
Bragg, W.L. (1890–1971) English physicist. Received the Nobel Prize 1915, together with his father W. H. Bragg, for studies of the scattering of X-rays from crystals.
 
Brahe, T. (1546–1601) Danish astronomer. Made observations of the motions of planets that Kepler later used to establish the laws of motion for planets. Built the observatories Uranienborg and Stjärneborg on the island of Ven.
 
de Broglie, L.V. (1892–1987) French physicist. Suggested that electrons have both wave and particle properties in the same way as photons. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1929.
 
Brown, R. (1773–1858) Scottish botanist. Discovered and named the nucleus of the cell. He also discovered the so called Brownian motion of particles in a fluid.
 
Cavendish, H. (1731–1810) English physicist and chemist. Showed that water consists of two different elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Measured the gravitational constant and thereby the mean density of the earth.
 
Celsius, A. (1701–1744) Swedish astronomer and physicist working in Uppsala. Best known for the temperature scale he introduced, which is still used today in a somewhat modified form.
 
Chadwick, J. (1891–1974) English physicist. Discovered the neutron 1932, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
 
Chandrasekhar, S. (1910–1995) American-Indian astrophysicist. Formulated theories for physical processes in stars and for black holes. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1983 together with Fowler.
 
Cockcroft, J.D. (1897–1967) English physicist. Shared the Nobel Prize 1951 with Walton. In 1932 they achieved the spallation of lithium and boron nuclei by irradiating them with protons from an accelerator that they had constructed.
 
Compton, A. (1892–1962) American physicist. In 1923 he showed that photons can be scattered from electrons (the Compton effect), which confirmed the particle nature of light. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1927 together with Wilson.
 
Coulomb, C.A. (1726–1806) French engineer and physicist. Performed fundamental investigations of friction and torsion. Measured the force between electric charges and magnetic poles. Coulomb's law gives the electric force between two charges at rest.
 
Crick, F.H.C. (1916–2004) English biochemist. Awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine 1962 together with Watson and Wilkins. Developed a model for the genetic code, DNA, together with Watson.
 
Curie-Sklodowska, M. (1867–1934) Polish-French physicist and chemist. Shared the Nobel Prize 1903, together with her husband Pierre and Becquerel, for the discovery of radioactivity. Awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1911 for her studies of radioactive elements.
 
Curie-Joliot, I. (1897–1956) French physicist and chemist. Daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie. Awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1935 together with her husband Frédéric Joliot for the synthesis of new radioactive elements.
 
Curie, P. (1859–1905) French physicist. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1903 together with his wife Marie and Becquerel for the discovery of radioactivity. He also performed important studies of the magnetic properties of matter.
 
Darwin, C. (1809–1882) English Naturalist. Put forward the theories of evolution and natural selection. In 1859 he published his book called, "The Origin of Species".
 
Davisson, C.J. (1881–1958) American physicist. In 1927, together with Germer, he proved the wave nature of electrons, which had been predicted by de Broglie. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1937.
 
Dirac, P.A.M. (1902–1984) English physicist. Formulated a theory for electrons which required the existence of positrons, the anti-particle of electrons. A few years later, in 1932, the positron was discovered by Anderson. Shared the Nobel Prize 1933 together with Schrödinger.
 
Einstein, A. (1879–1955) German-Swiss-American physicist. Put forward the theory of special relativity in 1905 and the general theory of relativity in 1915. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1921 for the explanation of the photo electric effect, published in 1905.
 
Faraday, M. (1791–1867) English chemist and physicist. Discovered that electricity is induced in a conductor surrounding a varying magnetic field.
 
Fermi, E. (1901–1954) Italian-American physicist. The first to produce new radioactive elements by neutron irradiation. Formulated the first theory for weak interactions. Was responsible for the construction of the first nuclear reactor. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1938.
 
Feynman, R.P. (1918–1988) American physicist. Important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, the theory which describes the forces between electric charges mediated by photons. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1965 together with S. Tomonaga and J.S. Schwinger.
 
Fowler, W.A. (1911–1995) American physicist. Performed measurements showing how the production of energy and formation of elements in stars can proceed through different nuclear reactions. Shared the Nobel Prize 1983 with Chandrasekhar.
 
Galilei, G. (1564–1642) Italian scientist and philosopher. One of the pioneers in classical physics. Discovered the sun spots, the different phases of Venus, and four of Jupiter's moons. Studied the gravitational force and the motion of the pendulum.
 
Gell-Mann, M. (1929–) American physicist. In 1962 he classified baryons and mesons into groups and in 1964 he introduced the concept of quarks. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969.
 
Germer, L.H. (1896–1971) American physicist. In 1927 he proved the wave nature of electrons together with Davisson.
 
Glashow, S.L. (1932–) American physicist. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1979 together with Salam and Weinberg, for their contribution to the formulation of a unified theory for the electromagnetic and weak forces.
 
Goeppert-Mayer, M. (1906–1972) Polish-German-American physicist. Maria Goeppert-Mayer was the second woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. She received the prize together with Hans Jensen for discoveries concerning the nuclear shell structure.
 
van de Graaff, R.J. (1901–1967) American physicist. Developed a new type of accelerator, finished in 1933, which could sustain a much higher voltage than earlier ones.
 
Heisenberg, W.K. (1901–1976) German physicist. Developed quantum mechanics together with M. Born. Formulated the revolutionising uncertainty principle in 1927. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1932.
 
Hooke, R. (1635–1703) English physicist and astronomer. Discovered Hooke's law, relating the stress and strain for elastic materials.
 
Huygens, C. (1629–1695) Dutch physicist, mathematician and astronomer. Assumed that light was a wave motion and thereby explained phenomena such as dispersion and reflection. He also discovered the rings of Saturn.
 
Ising, G. (1883–1983) Swedish physicist working in Stockholm. In 1924 he suggested, independently of Widerö, how particles can be accelerated in more than one step.
 
Kepler, J. (1571–1630) German physicist, mathematician and astronomer. Based on the observations of Tycho Brahe, he formulated the laws of planetary motion.
 
Langevin, P. (1872–1946) French physicist. Did work in, for example, the fields of ultra acoustics, paramagnetism, diamagnetism, and molecular structure of gases.
 
von Laue, M.T.F. (1879–1960) German physicist. Suggested that the scattering pattern of X-rays passing through a crystal can be explained by their wave properties. His suggestion was verified experimentally by his assistants. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1914.
 
Lawrence, E.O. (1901–1958) American physicist. Constructed the first cyclotron in Berkeley, California. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1939.
 
Maxwell, J.C. (1831–1879) Scottish mathematician and physicist. Formulated a unified theory for electricity and magnetism, which is also valid for light. Performed important work on the inner motions of gases.
 
Meitner, L. (1878–1968) German physicist. Lise Meitner has been called the Marie Curie of Germany. Together with Otto Frisch she explained the discovery of Hahn and Strassman as fission of uranium in 1939.
 
Mendelejev, D.I. (1834–1907) Russian chemist. In 1869 he formulated a new system for the 65 elements known at that time. Based on this system he predicted the existence of several unknown elements.
 
Néeman, Y. (1925–) Israeli physicist. Classified hadrons into groups independently of Gell-Mann.
 
Newton, I. (1642–1726) English mathematician, physicist and astronomer. In Principia 1687 he presented the laws of mechanics and gravitation. In Optics 1704, which had a strong influence on science in the 18th century, he showed that light consists of several colours.
 
Planck, M. (1858–1947) German physicist. Laid the foundation of quantum theory and introduced the fundamental constant h=6.62*10-34 joule seconds. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1918.
 
Rutherford, E. (1871–1937) English physicist. Showed that radioactive substances radiate at least two different types of radiation, called alpha and beta, which were identified by their ability to penetrate a material. Showed that the mass of an atom is concentrated in a small nucleus. Awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1908.
 
Röntgen, W.K. (1845–1923) German physicist. In 1895 he discovered X-rays and was awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics 1901.
 
Salam, A. (1926–1996) Pakistani-English physicist. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1979 together with Glashow and Weinberg, for their contribution to the formulation of a unified theory for the electromagnetic and weak forces.
 
Schrödinger, E. (1887–1961) Austrian physicist. One of the founders of quantum mechanics. Formulated the Schrödinger equation which can be used to describe the electrons in atoms and molecules. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1933.
 
Schwinger, J.S. (1918–1994) American physicist. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1965 together with R.P. Feynman and S. Tomonaga for important contributions to quantum electrodynamics.
 
Siegbahn, K. (1918–2007) Swedish physicist working in Uppsala. Contributed to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981.
 
Siegbahn, M. (1886–1978) Swedish physicist working in Stockholm and Uppsala. Did groundbreaking work in X-ray spectroscopy. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1924.
 
Svedberg, T. (1886–1971) Swedish physical chemist working in Uppsala. Did groundbreaking work in the chemistry of colloids. Developed an ultra centrifuge for determining the specific weight of molecules. Awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1926.
 
Thomson, J.J. (1856–1940) English physicist. Discovered the electron in 1897. Performed important investigations in electricity and fundamental atomic physics. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1906.
 
Thomson, G.P. (1892–1975) English physicist and son of J.J. Thomson. Proved the wave nature of electrons independently of Davisson and Germer. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1937.
 
Tiselius, A. (1902–1971) Swedish chemist working in Uppsala. Awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1948 "for his research on electrophoresis and adsorption analysis, especially for his discoveries concerning the complex nature of the serum proteins".
 
Tomonaga, S. (1906–1979) Japanese physicist. Shared the Nobel Prize 1965 with R.P. Feynman and J.S. Schwinger, "for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles".
 
van der Waals, J.D. (1837–1923) Dutch physicist. Formulated a law for the relation between volume, pressure and temperature for liquids and gases. Investigated the electric force between electrically neutral molecules. Awarded the Nobel Prize 1910.
 
Walton, E.T.S. (1903–1995) Irish physicist. Shared the Nobel Prize 1951 with Cockcroft for "work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles".
 
Watson, J.D. (1928–) American biochemist. Shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine 1962 with Crick and Wilkins, for "their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material".
 
Weinberg, S. (1933–) American physicist. Shared the Nobel Prize 1979 with Glashow and Salam, for their contribution to the formulation of a unified theory for the electromagnetic and weak forces.
 
Widerö, R. (1902–1996) Norwegian physicist and electro-engineer. Made several important contributions to accelerator technology. The first to accelerate particles in several steps. In this way he accelerated potassium ions to an energy of 50 000 electronvolt. The method was described in 1929.
 
Wilkins, M.H.F. (1916–2004) physicist and molecular biologist from New Zeeland. Took part in the development of the first atomic bomb. Later he studied biological problems using X-ray techniques. For example he isolated DNA-strings and studied them using X-ray diffraction. Shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Crick and Watson.
 
Wilson, C.T.R. (1869–1959) Scottish physicist. Studied among other things the condensation of water in the atmosphere. These studies later led to the development of cloud chambers based on the ability of charged particles to ionise vapour. Shared the Nobel Prize 1927 with Compton.
 
Ångström, A.J. (1814–1874) Swedish physicist working in Uppsala. Studied the spectral lines from the sun and thereby showed the existence of hydrogen in the sun. Introduced absolute numbers for wave lengths with the unit one tenth of a billionth meter.
 
Örsted, H.C. (1777–1851) Danish physicist. In the 1820's he discovered that electric currents give magnetic effects.