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The Alpher-Bethe-Gamow paper


Nobel prize winners here at Cornell
Hans Bethe Scientist
Comments (1) Please sign in or register to add comments
Physics Hobo
Thursday, 08 February 2018 02:10 AM
I met Hans Bethe nearly 20 years ago.

In another part of our department condensed matter physics is being done. And that is... that has led to this year's 1996 Nobel Prizes which in fact were given yesterday, December 10th, to two professors of condensed matter physics of Cornell, Lee and Richardson, and to their former graduate student, Osheroff, now at Stanford University. They jointly discovered that liquid helium of atomic weight 3 becomes superfluid at fantastically low temperatures, at temperatures in micro degrees, a few millionth of a degree Kelvin. Then in addition we had Kenneth Wilson, not to be confused with Robert Wilson. Kenneth Wilson came here as a theoretical physicist and pursued the idea of renormalization of the infinities of quantum electrodynamics and similar theories further, and found that there is a whole group of renormalization and he was able in this way to explain the phenomena of a gas near its critical point where liquid and... and gas flow into each other and he received the Nobel Prize for that several years ago.

The late German-American physicist Hans Bethe once described himself as the H-bomb's midwife. He left Nazi Germany in 1933, after which he helped develop the first atomic bomb, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his contribution to the theory of nuclear reactions, advocated tighter controls over nuclear weapons and campaigned vigorously for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Cornell University, Nobel Prize in Physics, Stanford University, Nobel Prize, David Lee, Robert Richardson, Douglas Osheroff, Kenneth G Wilson

Duration: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008