Thursday 1 November 2018

Nobel Laureates in Physics: Born in November


Biographical information of Nobel Laureates in Physics who were born in November and brief description of their Nobel Winning works.

[Compiled from https://www.nobelprize.org]


2 November 
Richard E. Taylor

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1990 was awarded jointly to Jerome I. Friedman, Henry W. Kendall and Richard E. Taylor "for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics."


Richard E. Taylor
Born: 2 November 1929, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Died: 22 February 2018, Stanford, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics."
Prize share: 1/3

Work
Normal matter consists of atoms possessing nuclei of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons. In a series of experiments conducted around 1970, Richard Taylor, Jerome Friedman, and Henry Kendall aimed high-energy electrons at protons and neutrons using a large accelerator. They studied how the electrons scattered during the collisions and how protons were sometimes converted into other particles. Their results supported the theory that protons and neutrons are composed of sub-particles, quarks.

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5 November 
William D. Phillips

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 was awarded jointly to Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."


William D. Phillips
Born: 5 November 1948, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Prize motivation: "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."
Prize share: 1/3

Work
At room temperature atoms and molecules in the air move about at breakneck speed. In order for them to be studied, they need to be slowed down or chilled. During the 1980s William Phillips, Steven Chu, and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji developed different methods for this. When atoms come in contact with light particles with fixed energies, photons, their movement is affected as if they had been bumped. With the aid of laser light from different directions and adjustment of the photon's energy for Doppler effects, the atoms can be cooled to extremely low temperatures and captured in a trap.

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7 November 
Marie Curie, née Sklodowska
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903 was divided, one half awarded to Antoine Henri Becquerel "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity", the other half jointly to Pierre Curie and Marie Curie, née Sklodowska "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."


Marie Curie, née Sklodowska
Born: 7 November 1867, Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland)
Died: 4 July 1934, Sallanches, France
Prize motivation: "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
Prize share: 1/4

Life
Marie Skłodowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, to a family of teachers who believed strongly in education. She moved to Paris to continue her studies and there met Pierre Curie, who became both her husband and colleague in the field of radioactivity. The couple later shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. Marie was widowed in 1906, but continued the couple's work and went on to become the first person ever to be awarded two Nobel Prizes. During World War I, Curie organized mobile X-ray teams. The Curies' daughter, Irene, was also jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside her husband, Frederic Joliot.

Work
1903 Prize: The 1896 discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel inspired Marie and Pierre Curie to further investigate this phenomenon. They examined many substances and minerals for signs of radioactivity. They found that the mineral pitchblende was more radioactive than uranium and concluded that it must contain other radioactive substances. From it they managed to extract two previously unknown elements, polonium and radium, both more radioactive than uranium.

1911 Prize: After Marie and Pierre Curie first discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium, Marie continued to investigate their properties. In 1910 she successfully produced radium as a pure metal, which proved the new element's existence beyond a doubt. She also documented the properties of the radioactive elements and their compounds. Radioactive compounds became important as sources of radiation in both scientific experiments and in the field of medicine, where they are used to treat tumors.

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The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930 was awarded to Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him."


Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
Born: 7 November 1888, Tiruchirappalli, India
Died: 21 November 1970, Bangalore, India
Affiliation at the time of the award: Calcutta University, Calcutta, India
Prize motivation: "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him."
Prize share: 1/1

Work
When light meets particles that are smaller than the light's wavelength, the light spreads in different directions. This occurs, for example, when light packets - photons - encounter molecules in a gas. In 1928 Venkata Raman discovered that a small portion of the scattered light acquires other wavelengths than that of the original light. This is because some of the incoming photons' energy can be transferred to a molecule, giving it a higher level of energy. Among other things, the phenomenon is used to analyze different types of material.

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8 November 
Jack S. Kilby

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2000 was awarded "for basic work on information and communication technology" with one half jointly to Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics" and the other half to Jack S. Kilby "for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit."



Jack S. Kilby
Born: 8 November 1923, Jefferson City, MO, USA
Died: 20 June 2005, Dallas, TX, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX, USA
Prize motivation: "for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit."
Prize share: 1/2

Work
The discovery of the small electronic component, the transistor, created new opportunities to amplify and control electrical signals. New materials were used and transistors gradually became smaller. Independently of one another, in 1959 Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce showed that many transistors, resistors, and capacitors could be grouped on a single board of semiconductor material. The integrated circuit, or microchip, came to be a vital component in computers and other electronic equipment.

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12 November 
Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt)

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1904 was awarded to Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt) "for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies."


Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt)
Born: 12 November 1842, Langford Grove, Maldon, Essex, United Kingdom
Died: 30 June 1919, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies."
Prize share: 1/1

Work
The air around us consists of several different gases, mostly nitrogen gas and oxygen. Lord Rayleigh developed methods for studying the physical properties of gases in the atmosphere. When he compared nitrogen extracted from air with nitrogen extracted from chemical compounds, he found that the nitrogen from air was heavier. He concluded that the air must contain another, previously unknown substance. In 1894 he, along with William Ramsay, succeeded in extracting the previously unknown element, argon, in pure form and in analyzing its properties.

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17 November 
Eugene Paul Wigner

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1963 was divided, one half awarded to Eugene Paul Wigner "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles", the other half jointly to Maria Goeppert Mayer and J. Hans D. Jensen "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure."


Eugene Paul Wigner
Born: 17 November 1902, Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Died: 1 January 1995, Princeton, NJ, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Prize motivation: "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles."
Prize share: 1/2

Work
After the discovery of the neutron, it became evident that the atomic nucleus is made up of nucleons - protons and neutrons - that are affected by a cohesive force. In 1933 Eugene Wigner discovered that the force binding the nucleons together is very weak when the distance between them is great, but very strong when the nucleons are close to one another as in the atomic nucleus. Eugene Wigner also described several characteristics of the nucleons and the nuclear force, including the fact that the force between two nucleons is the same, regardless of whether they are protons or neutrons.

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18 November 
Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1948 was awarded to Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett "for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation."


Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett
Born: 18 November 1897, London, United Kingdom
Died: 13 July 1974, London, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: Victoria University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation."
Prize share: 1/1

Work
The cloud chamber is an instrument in which tiny electrically-charged particles that pass through super-saturated air leave trails behind them. Patrick Blackett used the cloud chamber for groundbreaking studies of particles from the cosmos and from nuclear reactions. In 1932 Patrick Blackett and Giuseppe Occhialini connected the cloud chamber to a Geiger counter, which detects the passage of a particle. In this way a picture could be captured precisely when a particle passed by. Patrick Blackett showed, among other things, that with the application of high energy, pairs of electrons and positrons could be formed out of light particles, photons.

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22 November 
Louis Eugène Félix Néel

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1970 was divided equally between Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén "for fundamental work and discoveries in magnetohydro-dynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics" and Louis Eugène Félix Néel "for fundamental work and discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism which have led to important applications in solid state physics."



Louis Eugène Félix Néel
Born: 22 November 1904, Lyon, France
Died: 17 November 2000, Brive-Corrèze, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Prize motivation: "for fundamental work and discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism which have led to important applications in solid state physics."
Prize share: 1/2

Work
Magnetism takes different forms, some stemming from the magnetic moments of atoms of different materials. In ferromagnetic material the magnetic moments are oriented in the same direction. In 1932 Louis Néel described the antiferromagnetism phenomenon, where nearby magnetic moments in a material are oriented in opposite directions. In 1947 he also described the ferrimagnetism phenomenon, where the magnetic moments are aligned in opposite directions but of different magnitudes. The findings became an important factor in the development of computer memory and other applications.

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23 November 
Johannes Diderik van der Waals

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1910 was awarded to Johannes Diderik van der Waals "for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids."


Johannes Diderik van der Waals
Born: 23 November 1837, Leiden, the Netherlands
Died: 8 March 1923, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Affiliation at the time of the award: Amsterdam University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Prize motivation: "for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids."
Prize share: 1/1

Work
The matter around us assumes different forms: solid, fluid or gaseous. The relationship between the volume, pressure and temperature of gases has been formulated since the 17th century. In 1873 Johannes van der Waals formulated an equation of state that applies to both gases and liquids. In it he introduced the idea that molecules attract one another to explain why the laws governing gases do not apply under high pressure. In 1880 he formulated the principle that a gas can be fully described if the critical temperature at which the gas liquefies is known.

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24 November 
Simon van der Meer
Tsung-Dao (T.D.) Lee

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1984 was awarded jointly to Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer "for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction."


Simon van der Meer
Born: 24 November 1925, the Hague, the Netherlands
Died: 4 March 2011, Geneva, Switzerland
Affiliation at the time of the award: CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
Prize motivation: "for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction."
Prize share: 1/2

Life
Simon van der Meer was born and raised in The Hague, Netherlands. His father was a teacher and his mother also came from a family of educators. After studying at the University of Technology, Delft, van der Meer spent several years working at the Philips Research Laboratory in Eindhoven. In 1956 he began working at the new European particle physics laboratory, CERN, where he remained for the rest of his career. Simon van der Meer was married with two children.

Work
According to modern physics, there are four fundamental forces in nature. The weak interaction, responsible for e.g. the beta-decay of nuclei is one of them. According to the theory forces are mediated by particles: the weak interaction by the so called heavy bosons W, Z, about 100 times more massive than the proton. Simon van der Meer developed a method to accumulate a large number of energetic antiprotons in an accelerator ring. These were used in experiment where antiprotons and protons of high energy were brought to collide. In these experiments W and Z particles were discovered in 1983.

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The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957 was awarded jointly to Chen Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao (T.D.) Lee "for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles."


Tsung-Dao (T.D.) Lee
Born: 24 November 1926, Shanghai, China
Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Prize motivation: "for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles."
Prize share: 1/2

Work
For a long time, physicists assumed that various symmetries characterized nature. In a kind of "mirror world" where right and left were reversed and matter was replaced by antimatter, the same physical laws would apply, they posited. The equality of these laws was questioned concerning the decay of certain elementary particles, however, in 1956 and Tsung Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang formulated a theory that the left-right symmetry law is violated by the weak interaction. Measurements of electrons' direction of motion during a cobalt isotope's beta decay confirmed this.

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28 November 
Russell A. Hulse

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1993 was awarded jointly to Russell A. Hulse and Joseph H. Taylor Jr. "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation."


Russell A. Hulse
Born: 28 November 1950, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation."
Prize share: 1/2

Work
Pulsars are very compact stars that radiate radio waves with very regular variations. In 1974 Russell Hulse and James Taylor discovered a pulsar comprised of two stars in very close proximity that rotate around each other. Hulse and Taylor could demonstrate that the stars' radiation and movements correspond with Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. Among other things, this theory predicts that the pulsar would emit energy in the form of gravitational waves, which should result in slowly declining intervals. Taylor was able to confirm this in 1978.

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30 November 
Nils Gustaf Dalén

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1912 was awarded to Nils Gustaf Dalén "for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys."


Nils Gustaf Dalén
Born: 30 November 1869, Stenstorp, Sweden
Died: 9 December 1937, Stockholm, Sweden
Affiliation at the time of the award: Swedish Gas-Accumulator Co., Lidingö-Stockholm, Sweden
Prize motivation: "for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys."
Prize share: 1/1

Life
Gustaf Dalen was born in Stenstorp in the Västergötland province of Sweden. Rather than take over the family farm, he studied at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and ETH in Zurich. He subsequently worked in private industry, including at the Da Laval's Steam Turbine Company and, primarily, at AGA, which under his leadership evolved into a global enterprise. He lost his sight in 1912 in an accidental explosion in connection with an experiment but remained active as an industrial leader. He was married and had four children.

Work
For centuries, lighthouses have made navigation safer. In the 19th century, acetylene gas began to be used to light their beacons. Gustaf Dalén developed a method for emitting short flashes of light, thereby reducing gas consumption. In 1907 he invented a regulating valve based on the difference in expansion between black and white metal rods. This "solar valve" could extinguish beacons during daytime, saving more money.


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