Tuesday, March 07, 2023
Stay with me for just a few minutes as I narrow down my selection for the father of quantum physics. I'll name him later in this article. Oops, gender slip. Sorry Marie Curie, we are now down to 28 choices. Keep reading, I'll have this down to three in just a minute!
The first gathering held in 1911 was for “Radiation and the Quanta” compared to this conference theme in 1927, “Electrons and Photons”—topics of contention in the newly developed theories of quantum mechanics. It’s safe to say that was a lot of genius in one room!
Of these 29 scientists at the conference, 17 have won Nobel prizes. Nearly all would hold university chairs teaching the new theories which were changing the world. They appear to be the only ones that could explain an entirely new realm of energy, wave-particle duality, and uncertainty.
A young Albert Einstein was in attendance, as was Max Planck (spoiler alert), who discovered the energy quanta being discussed. Physicist and mathematician Henri Poincaré was also present—known for being a leader across multiple disciplines.
They were joined by Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Erwin Schrödinger—pioneers of the new quantum mechanics, which drew upon Planck’s quanta and other discoveries of how the universe functions on an atomic level.
Narrowing down the greats to my top three was easier than one might think. Their specializations and Nobel prizes are very specific to quantum theory.
Time is relative, yes, but I'm running short for my daily allowance. Einstein is largely considered the third founder of Quantum Theory because he described light as quanta in his theory of the Photoelectric Effect, for which he won the 1921 Nobel Prize.
Niels Bohr and Max Planck, two of the founding fathers of Quantum Theory, each received a Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on quanta. Would it be irresponsible of me to name one over the other as the father of quantum physics? This is for educational fun, so I'm going to do it anyway!
He's a german physicist that won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of energy quanta. While Planck made significant contributions to theoretical physics, he is most renowned for his role in creating quantum theory. This revolutionized humanity's comprehension of atomic and subatomic processes.
This was the quickest countdown I could come up with today. I hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot, I know I did. It made my day to share this with you.
Founder and writer at Pantheon Space Academy
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