Solvay 1927

More or less the foundation of all contemporary physics (click to enlarge):

Einstein, Schrodinger, Pauli, Heisenberg, Debye, Dirac, de Broglie, Bohr, Planck, Mme Curie, Lorentz, Wilson.

Is it just me, or do Pauli and Heisenberg look like they’re ready to go pubbing for some Belgian Ale?

The only female in this group, Mme Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel prize, the only woman ever to win a Nobel in two categories (Physics & Chemistry), and the only person ever to win in multiple sciences. She was the first female professor at Sorbonne and the only woman to be entombed on her own merits at the Pantheon. She coined a number of common scientific terms (“radiation” etc.), established the first military field radiological centers, and somehow found time to raise a family, teaching her daughters their native Polish and making frequent trips to Poland. Among the elements she discovered, the first she called “polonium” after her native Poland.

From Wikipedia:

She was known for her honesty and moderate life style. Having received a small scholarship in 1893, she returned it in 1897 as soon as she begun earning her keep. She gave much of her first Nobel Prize money to friends, family, students and research associates. In an unusual decision, Marie intentionally refrained from patenting the radium-isolation process, so that the scientific community could do research unhindered. She insisted that monetary gifts and awards were given to the scientific institutions she was affiliated with, rather than herself. She and her husband often refused awards and medals. Albert Einstein remarked that she was probably the only person who was not corrupted by the fame that she had won.


One thought on “Solvay 1927

  1. Thanks, John, for posting this.
    Oh, to be present in the off-hours, the casual times, to hear the back stories, the tales of frustration, failure and eventual, “Eureka!”, success. This was one of those rare times of advancement.

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