nobel prize physics


Finding Darkness In The Light: How Vera Rubin Changed The Universe

“Instead, the speeds rose rapidly, but then leveled off. As you moved farther away from a galaxy’s core, the stars’ rotation speeds didn’t drop, but rather leveled off to a constant value. The rotation curves, unexpectedly, were flat. Rubin’s work began in the Andromeda galaxy, our closest large, galactic neighbor, but quickly was extended to dozens of galaxies, which all showed the same effects. Today, that number is in the thousands, and our multiwavelength, advanced surveys have shown that it can’t be missing atoms, ions, plasmas, gas, dust, planets or asteroids that account for the mass. Either something is screwy with the laws of gravity on galactic (and larger) scales, or there’s some type of unseen mass in the Universe.”

When you look at a galaxy in the night sky, it’s easy to imagine that it’s just a system of masses like our Solar System, except on a larger scale. Instead of a single, central mass, you have many stars responsible for the galaxy’s gravitational pull. The stars revolving around the galactic center feel the tug from all the other stars and orbit accordingly, with the inner stars orbiting quickly and the outermost ones – the ones most distant from the gravitational sources – orbiting more slowly, just like the planets. At least, that’s what you’d expect. But when the techniques and the technologies for measuring this finally came to fruition, the result was a colossal surprise: the stars in a galaxy didn’t determine the galaxy’s mass or rotation properties. In fact, if you went out and measured the gas, dust, plasma, planets and everything else we can observe in the galaxy, they don’t explain it either. Something unseen and invisible was influencing the way galaxies behave.

On Sunday night, Vera Rubin passed away at age 88. Here was her most titanic, Universe-changing contribution to the enterprise of science.

I crave a story where Victor and Yuuri’s child realizes that they don’t like skating all that much, even though they show potential. Victor and Yuuri are incredibly supportive and don’t project their own passions onto their child. Instead, they sign up their child to participate in a multitude of after-school activities and helps them realize their passion for the sciences.

That child later goes on to become the most awarded physicist in history. 

After receiving their Nobel Prize in physics, their child thanks Victor and Yuuri (who are both really old and still ridiculously in love) in the acceptance speech for always staying by their side and being the best and most encouraging dads ever. 

Marie Curie (1867-1934) was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in any category. She achieved this first in 1903, when she won the Prize in Physics, and then again in 1911 for Chemistry. She therefore became the first and only woman to win the Nobel twice, and the only person to receive it for two different sciences.

The research she conducted on radioactivity was pioneering in the field, and included the actual coining of the term, and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris from 1900 onward. Initially, the committee only wanted to award the 1903 Prize to her husband, Pierre, but they received the award jointly after his complaint in regards to the situation.

Women of Science: Lise Meitner

Not only is inequality damaging for individuals, it also vandalises society as a whole.

This begs the question: what has society missed out on because of inequality?

This is a small testament to those women who somehow managed to throw off the shackles of oppression and change the scientific world.

Women of Science:

Lise Meitner

In a very extreme case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Lise Meitner was a female Austrian Jew who excelled in physics; meanwhile fleeing Nazi prosecution.

At the age of 14 she completed her schooling feeling unsatisfied and wanted to continue onto higher education. This was the only schooling females were allowed to do at the time, but she was motivated by discoveries from scientists such as Henri Becquerel and wanted to pursue a future of radioactivity research.

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The Little Green Men

The Little Green Man is 50 years old today!  On this day in 1967 astronomer Jocelyn Burnell Bell found an unusual object blinking in a dark corner of the sky in the constellation Vulpecula. With a period of 1.3373 seconds and a pulse width of 0.04 second it was the first radio pulsar discovered, although Bell and her Ph.D. advisor astronomer Antony Hewish had no idea what exactly they were seeing. Given the regularity of the signal, they briefly (and mostly jokingly) considered the possibility that they had stumbled upon evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence, and dubbed it LGM1, for Little Green Men 1. According to Bell:

We did not really believe that we had picked up signals from another civilization, but obviously the idea had crossed our minds and we had no proof that it was an entirely natural radio emission. It is an interesting problem - if one thinks one may have detected life elsewhere in the universe how does one announce the results responsibly? Who does one tell first?

Thomas Gold and Franco Pacini suggested that pulsars were in fact pulsating neutron stars, confirmed with the discovery of a second pulsar in the Crab Nebula. The next year in March 1968, The Daily Telegraph was first to publish the new word:

An entirely novel kind of star came to light on Aug. 6 last year and was referred to, by astronomers, as LGM (Little Green Men). Now it is thought to be a novel type between a white dwarf and a neutron [sic]. The name Pulsar is likely to be given to it. Dr. A. Hewish told me yesterday: “… I am sure that today every radio telescope is looking at the Pulsars.”

The word itself was a combination of pulsating and star, a very literal and descriptive explanation of what scientists were seeing. Today that first pulsar is known variously as CP 1919, PSR B1919+21 and PSR J1921+2153.

Pulsars are so unique that NASA used them as intergalactic locators, drawing a map on the Pioneer plaques to allow extra-terrestrial intelligences to find planet Earth.

In 1974 Antony Hewish became the first astronomer to win a Nobel Prize in Physics, with a bit of controversy surrounding the award as Bell (who actually discovered the pulsar) was not co-awarded the prize.

All images used under CC 3.0 license.

A Dozen Women Scientists You’ve Never Heard Of

Dr. Alice Hamilton: pioneer in industrial medicine in the U.S
Dr. Florence Rena Sabin: pioneer in the movement to change the aim of medical study from the cure to the prevention of disease.
Dr. Lise Meitner: Pioneer in nuclear physics. First scientist to recognize that the atom could be split to release tremendous amounts of energy.
Dr. Leta S. Holilngworth: Pioneer in the science of clinical psychology. An early fighter for women’s rights.
Dr. Rachel Fuller Brown: Chemist. Co-discoverer of the antibiotic nystatin, the first antibiotic effective against fungus diseases.
Dr. Gladys Anderson Emerson: The first to isolate vitamin E from wheat germ oil and study its functions. Studied the possible relationship of nutrition to cancer and arteriosclerosis.
Dr. Maria Goeppert Mayer: Nobel Prize winner in physics fro her shell theory of the nucleus of the atom.
Dr. Myra Adele Logan: Pioneer in medicine. First woman surgeon to operate on the heart. First black woman to be elected a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
Dr. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin: Nobel Prize winner in chemistry in 1964. Determined the structure of important chemical compounds of the body by cyrstallography.
Dr. Jane C. Wright: Pioneer of chemotherapy. First black woman to be appointed to a high post in medical administration.
Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow: Nobel Prize winner in medicine, 1977, for her discovery of radioimmunoassay
Dr. Sylvia Earle Mead: Marine biologist who led the first US team of female aquanauts in the Tektite Underwater Research Project 

RebelCaptain Fan Fiction Recs!

I know everyone and their father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate has done a Fan Fiction rec, but I wanted to get some of my favorites out there! This is going to be a long post, so bear with me. (I tried to find as many of the author’s Tumblrs if I can, but sometimes I couldn’t! Let me know if I missed them!)

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marigoldfaucet  asked:

Do you have any favourite women in history/women you think people should be learning about?

Boy do I ever! Such a shame every single woman has just gone out of my head this very moment. Let’s see who I can remember. 

  • Noor Inayat Khan (GC). I’ve seen a few tumblr posts floating about but none really do justice to her tale or really explain her position very well. I’ve been meaning to make an edit. She was Muslim, of Asian descent, an SOE agent during WWII and the first female radio operator to be sent from Britain to Nazi occupied France. Also probably the best. She was captured and tortured and yet she didn’t reveal anything. She was executed and her last words were “Liberty”. After her death she received the George Cross for gallantry. 
  • Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi. Was a Queen and one of the leading figures in the fight against the British during the rebellion. She lived and died in war for her country. 
  • Isabella of France, Queen consort of England. She’s quite terrifying. 
  • Mary Wollstonecraft. Mother of the brilliant Mary Shelley and a fascinating woman in her own right. 
  • Diana, Princess of Wales. There’s something about her. Fascinating woman. Really the most interesting out of the modern royals. 
  • Coretta Scott King. Wife of MLK.jr but mostly importantly a remarkable woman in her own right. 
  • Mary Seacole. Jamaican born nurse and business woman. Tended to British military during the Crimean war in active service. Has a statue outside St Thomas’ hospital in London. Flo Nightingale; eat your heart out. 
  • Marie Antoinette. Queen consort of France. Not the devil as she’s portrayed to be in media.
  • Marie Curie. First woman to receive Nobel prize in physics. 
  • Sophia Duleep Singh. Leading figure of the suffragettes movement. God daughter of Queen Victoria. 
Fantasie ist wichtiger als Wissen, denn Wissen ist begrenzt.
—  Albert Einstein (1879 in Ulm, Germany - 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the theory of relativity, one of the 2 pillars of modern physics alongside quantum mechanics). Einstein is 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, a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory. (“Imagination is more important than knowledge, as knowledge is limited.”)

given any loop (of any shape), are there four points that, when connected, form a square? (unsolved) or a rectangle? (solved and proved in this video)

topology is really cool!! and so is this video, it’s got really nice explanations and does so in a way that people with no topology knowledge can understand
PS topology was used by this year’s winners of the nobel prize in physics!!


Shocker: Nobel Prize In Physics Goes To Topology In Materials, Not Gravitational Waves!

“It was thought for a long time that superconductivity and superfluidity, two low-temperature properties of certain types of matter with either zero resistance or zero viscosity, respectively, required a fully three-dimensional material to work through. But in the 1970s, Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless discovered that not only could they occur in thin, 2D layers, but they discovered the phase transition mechanism by which superconductivity would disappear at high enough temperatures. With fewer degrees of freedom, and fewer dimensions for particles, forces and interactions to travel through, quantum mechanical systems actually become easier to study. Equations that are difficult to solve in three dimensions often become much easier in only two; other equations that are impossible to solve in three dimensions actually have known solutions in two.”

If you want to understand the Universe, there are two big areas you need to know: Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which governs the gravitational force and the curvature of spacetime, and quantum physics, which governs all the particles, the states of matter and every non-gravitational interaction ever. While many were expecting the Nobel Prize to go to the LIGO collaboration for the groundbreaking first direct detection of gravitational waves, there are a slew of quantum discoveries that are literally changing our world today. In the 1970s and 1980s, a new field of physics emerged: applying topology to low-temperature, extreme systems. By looking at thin, 2D layers and the topological defects that occurred inside them, new properties of matter appeared. Working out the physics of how these systems worked and the equations that governed them has led to a whole suite of new research, and is leading towards breakthroughs in electronics and quantum computing.

Go get the full story on this year’s Nobel Prize in physics: “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

An international research team led by Ariel Goobar at Stockholm University has detected for the first time multiple images from a gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernova. The new observations suggest promising new avenues for the study of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, gravity and distribution of dark matter in the universe.

Type Ia supernovae, nature’s own “standard candles,” have been used for many years by astronomers to measure cosmological distances. These studies led to the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, a sensational discovery that won the 2011 Nobel prize in Physics. Professor Ariel Goobar at the Department of Physics at Stockholm University was a member of the team led by one of the Nobel laureates, Saul Perlmutter.

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