Pope of Physics : Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi, (born Sept. 29, 1901, Rome, Italy—died Nov. 28, 1954,  U.S.), Italian-born American scientist who was one of the chief architects of the nuclear age. He developed the mathematical statistics required to clarify a large class of subatomic phenomena , explored nuclear transformations caused by neutrons, and directed the first controlled chain reaction involving nuclear fission . He was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize for Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Award of the U.S. Department of Energy  is given in his honour. Femilab the National Accelerator Laboratory, in Illinois, is named for him, as is Fermium , element number 100.

Experimental confirmation of a prediction is merely a measurement. An experiment disproving a prediction is a discovery. Enrico Fermi 

When asked what he meant by a miracle: Oh, anything with a probability of less than 20%. Enrico Fermi 

It is not good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. Enrico Fermi 

The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon [the ‘Super’, i.e. the hydrogen bomb] makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light. For these reasons, we believe it important for the President of the United States to tell the American public and the world what we think is wrong on fundamental ethical principles to initiate the development of such a weapon. Enrico Fermi 

Never underestimate the joy people derive from hearing something they already know. Enrico Fermi 

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Compiled by : ram H singhal :

for : Mind of Zero

Tuesday Science Blog

illimitable Superior Spirit

My religion consists of a humble admiration

of the

illimitable superior spirit

who reveals itself in

the slight details

we are able to perceive

with our frail and feeble mind.

Albert Einstein 

(14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955)

was a German-born theoretical physicist 

who developed the general theory of relativity, effecting a revolution in physics.

For this achievement,

Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics 

and the most influential physicist of the 20th century.

While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 

(which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”),

 he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics,

 and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.

1935 Nobel Prize in Physics : James Chadwick

Image may contain James Chadwick Face Human Person Tie Accessories Accessory Suit Coat Clothing and Overcoat

Since the atom, as a whole, is neutral, there must be a positive charge associated with the atom equal in amount to the sum of the negative charges. The electrical forces between the positive and negative charges preserve the equilibrium of the atom.
James Chadwick

I think we shall have to make a real search for the neutron.
James Chadwick

Feb. 27, 1932: Neutron Discovered; A-Bomb on the Way

1932: English physicist James Chadwick publishes a letter on the existence of the neutron. His discovery helps clear the way for splitting the nuclei of even the heaviest atomic elements, making possible the development of the atomic bomb.

Unlike the proton, the other large subatomic particle that helps form the nucleus of an atom, the neutron contains no electric charge. This enables it to pass through the electric barrier of heavy atoms to penetrate and split their nuclei, the basis of the nuclear chain reaction.

For his discovery of the neutron, Chadwick was first awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society in 1932 and, three years later, the Nobel Prize for Physics for year 1935.

The radioactive processes thus reveal an enormous store of energy resident in the atoms. No indications of this had been observed previously, because the chemical and physical forces at our disposal were not sufficient to cause atoms to break up into simpler forms.

I remember the spring of 1941 to this day. I realized then that a nuclear bomb was not only possible—it was inevitable. … And I had then to start taking sleeping pills. It was the only remedy, I’ve never stopped since then. It’s 28 years, and I don’t think I’ve missed a single night in all those 28 years.
— Sir James Chadwick
In oral history interview No. 3974-4 (20 Apr 1969) by Charles Weiner,

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Compiled by : ram H singhal :

for : Mind of Zero

Tuesday Science Blog

1933 Nobel Prize in Physics : Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933 was awarded jointly to Erwin Schrödinger and Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.”

Paul Dirac published the first of his papers on “The Quantum Theory of the Electron” in 1928 , The Dirac equation, derived in those papers, is one of the most important equations in physics.

Paul Dirac ( 1902 – 1984 ) : the purest soul in physics

Paul Dirac with Werner Heisenberg in Chicago in 1929

Living is worthwhile if one can contribute in some small way to this endless chain of progress. – Paul Dirac

1953 at the 3rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Hans von Euler-Chelpin, Adolf Butenant, Paul Dirac, Graf Lennart Bernadotte, Cecil Powell und Max von Laue (left to right). Photo: Archive Stuhler.

1953 at the 3rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Hans von Euler-Chelpin, Adolf Butenant, Paul Dirac, Graf Lennart Bernadotte, Cecil Powell und Max von Laue (left to right). Photo: Archive Stuhler.

Scientific progress is measured in units of courage, not intelligence. -Paul Dirac

Paul Dirac with his wife in  Copenhagen July 1963

God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.- Paul Dirac

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Compiled by : ram H singhal :

for : Mind of Zero

Tuesday Science Blog

Nobel Prize 1930 in Physics

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, ( 1988 – 1970 ) more popularly known as CV Raman the first Indian, Asian, Non-White person to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for his pioneering work on scattering of light and  his contribution to science from ‘Raman Effect’  to ‘Raman lines .

India honoured Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Bharat Ratna , the Highest Civilian Award of the Country in 1954 .

“All of us have seen that the sea appears blue, but we know from routine life experiences that water has no colour at all.

Have we ever thought why water acquires colour in rivers and seas?”

These were the few of the words while delivering lecture in Noble prize Ceremony.

A voyage to Europe in the summer of 1921 gave me the first opportunity of observing the wonderful blue opalescence of the Mediterranean Sea.

It seemed not unlikely that the phenomenon owed its origin to the scattering of sunlight by the molecules of the water.

CV Raman acknowledges how he turned the available opportunity into achievement on implementing his ideas encountered in his life events.

Ask the right questions, and nature will open the door to her secrets. CV Raman

The essence of science is independent thinking, hard work, and not equipment. When I got my Nobel Prize, I had spent hardly 200 rupees on my equipment.  CV Raman

Science is a fusion of man’s aesthetic and intellectual functions devoted to the representations of nature. It is therefore the highest form of creative art. CV Raman

The essence of the scientific spirit is to realise what a wonderful world it is that we live in. CV Raman

I have a feeling that if the women of India take to Science, they will achieve what even men have failed to do. Women have one quality – the quality of devotion. It is one of the most important passports to success in Science. Let us not imagine that intellect is a sole prerogative of males, in Science. CV Raman

The true wealth of a nation consists not in the stored-up gold but in the intellectual and physical strength of its people. CV Raman

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Compiled by : ram H singhal :

for Tuesday Science Blog : Mind of Zero