Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Physics Nobel Prize Trivia

The Nobel Prize in physics was announced today, so this is a good time for Nobel Prize trivia.

What Nobel laureate was sentenced to prison for war crimes?  Hint: he has an "effect" named after him.

The answer is Johannes Stark, who was a notorious Nazi. I don't think he served any actual time in prison. The Stark effect is the change in the energy levels of an atom in an external electric field -- it's a staple of undergraduate quantum mechanics. I first learned of Stark's unsavory history when I was researching my quantum mechanics textbook.

For a more upbeat Nobel Prize trivia question, see my earlier post.

No comments: