Nobel Prize Award for Physics 1928 to 1936

About the Nobel Prize Award for Physics 1928 to 1936 including the scientists Broglie and Hess, their works, and history.


1928 Owen W. Richardson (1879-1959), British

Work: Research into electron emission from heated bodies, especially the formulation of Richardson's law governing such emission

1929 Louis-Victor de Broglie (1892- ), French

Work: Discovery of the wave character of electrons

1930 Chandrasekhara V. Raman (1888-1970), Indian

Work: Discovery of the Raman effect, the tendency of diffused light to change wavelength and color

Nobel Laureate: Born into a family of landholders, Raman was a real prodigy. He graduated from college at 16, and at 18 earned his master's and published his first scientific paper, on light diffraction. Since all scientific paths were closed to native Indians. Raman chose the most promising career for his time and place--finance. Meanwhile, he conducted experiments in his free time in a makeshift laboratory. By 1917 his scientific work and writing had brought him so much notice that he was offered a new physics chair at the University of Calcutta. He subsequently devoted his research to acoustics, then optics, and later crystallography. A warm, witty man. Raman delighted in picking up American slang expressions whenever he visited the West. He died of a heart attack in Bangalore, India, at 82.

Nobel Lore: Raman used his $40,000 prize money to buy hundreds of diamonds with which to continue his crystallographic research.

1931 No award

1932 Werner Heisenberg (1901- ), German

Work: Creation of quantum mechanics leading to the discovery of new forms of hydrogen

1933 Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), Austrian

Paul A. M. Dirac (1902- ), British

Work: New insights into atomic theory

1934 No award

1935 James Chadwick (1891-1974), British

Work: Discovery of the neutron

1936 Victor F. Hess (1883-1964), American (b. Austria)

Work: Discovery of cosmic radiation

Carl D. Anderson (1905- ), American

Work: Discovery of the positron

Nobel Laureates: Born in the castle of an Austrian prince (his father worked as forester of the royal grounds), Hess began his cosmic-ray research in 1911 while lecturing on medical physics at a Viennese veterinary school. Tipped off by a sympathetic Gestapo agent in 1938 that he was about to be thrown into a concentration camp, probably because his wife was Jewish, Hess fled to Switzerland. He then emigrated to the U.S. to teach at Fordham University. He later developed a way to diagnose radioactive poisoning before it reached lethal proportions. He retired from the classroom in 1958 but continued lab work until his death. His wife of 25 years died in 1955. Nine months after the funeral, he married the nurse who tended to his first wife in her final days. He gave up tennis in his later years and found relaxation in long drives. This, too, he had to relinquish when he lost his driver's license after failing the eye exam.

Anderson was born in New York and raised in Los Angeles. He remained at the California Institute of Technology after his graduation in 1927 to work at the elbow of Robert Millikan, who had won the Nobel physics award four years earlier. In 1932 he published his discovery of a subatomic particle identical to the electron, but carrying a positive charge. He called it the positron. He later discovered the muon, an unstable subatomic particle with a mass somewhere between that of a proton and that of an electron. He has taught physics at Cal Tech since 1939.

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