Solvay Conference 1927

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The International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry, located in Brussels, were founded by the Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay in 1912, following the historic invitation-only 1911 Conseil Solvay, the first world physics conference. The Institutes coordinate conferences, workshops, seminars, and colloquia.

Following the initial success of 1911, the Solvay Conferences (Conseils Solvay) have been devoted to outstanding pre-eminent open problems in both physics and chemistry. The usual schedule is every three years, but there have been larger gaps.

Perhaps the most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The leading figures were Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. Einstein, disenchanted with Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle,” remarked “God does not play dice.” Bohr replied, “Einstein, stop telling God what to do.” Seventeen of the twenty-nine attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners, including Marie Curie, who alone among them, had won Nobel Prizes in two separate scientific disciplines.

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3 Responses to Solvay Conference 1927

  1. alfy says:

    Here’s a challenge for deskarati afficionados. Can you write a sentence or even a phrase about what each of the folks in the picture were famous for? I know some of them are easy, like Einstein or Curie but I’ll bet no one could get a 100 % result without recourse to wikipedia. Sic transit gloria.

  2. Deskarati says:

    A Piccard – Captain of the Starship Enterprise
    E Henriot – Proposed the Chicken Chaos theory
    P Ehrenfest – Beir Carnival Entrepreneur
    Ed Herzen – Founded the Female Buddhist Society
    Th De Donder – Designer of the German Kebab
    E Schrodinger – Feline Euthanasia Specialist
    E Verschaffelt – Specialist in Skin irritation abr.
    W Pauli – Quatum Mechanic
    W Heisenberg – Uncertainty Prefect
    R H Fowler – Famous Liverpool Striker
    L Brillouin – Invented Fish Stew
    I Langmuir – Started the Scotish Moor Preservation Soc.
    M Planck – Postulated the ‘Consistency of Timber’ scale
    M Currie – The Original Spice Girl
    H A Lorentz – Lorentz of Arabia
    A Eintsein – Designer of the German Single Tankard
    P Langevin – Longest Member of the Wine Connoisseur Club
    ChE Guye – Argentinian Marxist Revolutionary
    CTR Wilson – Manufacturer of Volleyballs
    OW Richardson – Dicks Boy

  3. Tom says:


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