WIGNER (Wigner), Eugene P.( Hungarian-American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1963)
Comments for WIGNER (Wigner), Eugene P.
Biography WIGNER (Wigner), Eugene P.
November 17, 1902, Mr.. - January 1, 1995
Hungarian-American physicist Eugene Paul Wigner was born in Budapest in the family Antal Wigner, business, and Wigner Elizabeth (nee Einhorn). After graduating from the Lutheran School in 1920, he spent years at the Budapest Institute of Technology, then joined the Technical University of Berlin, where he received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1924. and a doctorate in technical sciences in 1925. Completed the period of a chemical engineer at the tannery, in. he became an assistant researcher and then lecturer in physics at the Technical University of Berlin, following in the interval of one year as an assistant at the University of Gц╤ttingen.
In 1930. he became an assistant professor of physics at Gц╤ttingen and in the same year he emigrated to the United States, where its fate is forever linked with Princeton University. After one year as a lecturer in physics, he served part-time professor in mathematical physics from 1931 to 1937, excluding holiday in 1931, when he worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. In 1937 - 1938 he. He served as professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin, but in 1938. returned to Princeton, where he received a bid professor of mathematical physics.
The main scientific contribution. was the application of group theory, a particular branch of mathematics, to quantum mechanics - an area rapidly growing in the 30-ies. His earliest research concerned the rates of chemical reactions, as well as the theory of metallic bonds, the structure of atoms and nuclei and the characteristics of nuclear reactions. In 1933, a year after the discovery of the neutron by James Chadwick, English physicist, in. showed that the forces that hold together the protons and neutrons, should act only at very short distances and be much stronger than the long-range electric forces, which attract the electrons to the nucleus.
. With his former classmate of John von Neumann, he applied the theory of groups to link the energy levels of nuclei with the observed his behavior
. This work has been particularly useful when trying to explain the existence of the fact that. called magic numbers. Nuclei containing a magic number or protons or neutrons, have been determined empirically, are particularly stable and numerous. Research In. helped Maria Goeppert-Mayer, and I. Hans D. Jensen in their successful attempts made independently of each other, find a deep source of magic numbers in the quantum-mechanical motion of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
In. was one of the first physicists who assessed the effect of symmetry principles in the prediction of invariance of physical processes. These principles relate to the conservation of certain characteristics, existing before the transition, in the final products after the transition. For example, the principles of symmetry and invariance requirements can help to predict which nuclear reactions are possible and what is not.
. With the discovery of nuclear fission, made by Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, followed soon after, in 1939, the outbreak of World War II, American physicists were concerned that Nazi Germany might try to develop nuclear weapons
. V. joined Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and other scientists who insisted that the U.S. government funded nuclear research, Yves 1941. President Franklin Roosevelt approved the Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb.
In 1941 ... 1942. V. served as a consultant to the Federal Office of Scientific Research and Development U.S.. Then he took a leave from Princeton in 1942 to join the Manhattan Project. Here, in the metallurgical laboratory of the University of Chicago, he carried out theoretical studies and participated in the development of a nuclear reactor for producing plutonium. His work contributed to the understanding of many processes of neutron and allowed to predict the behavior of supercritical mass of nuclear warheads. December 2, 1942, Mr.. V. present when you first start a nuclear chain reaction.
After the war. held in 1946 ... 1947., . work by the director of research and development work in the laboratories klintonskih Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge (Tennessee), . where he led a team of 400 scientists and technicians, . wrought isotopes for peaceful purposes,
. The first such material, carbon-14 was used by Barnard Free skins in the Cancer Hospital in St. Louis (Missouri).
Returning to Princeton after the war,. actively opposed the effects of nuclear research. As head of a conference on the future of nuclear science, which was held on the occasion of 200 anniversary of Princeton University in 1946, he urged his fellow scientists to be socially responsible for the consequences associated with nuclear technology. Two years later, at a meeting of the American Association of Basic Sciences in Washington (DC), he insisted that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should find application only if the necessary security guarantees. Later, he expressed his disappointment that the emergence of the hydrogen bomb is not prompted the UN to become an effective body 'to neutralize'.
In. helped develop nuclear reactors for electricity production and for the production of isotopes for research, analysis and medical purposes. He feared the nuclear arms race and did not agree with the view that nuclear technology is purely military in nature and must be controlled by military. In the post-war studies in. used his work on group theory to describe the interaction of energetic elementary particles.
In. received the Nobel Prize 1963. Physics 'for his contribution to the theory of atomic nucleus and elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles'. He shared the prize with Maria Goeppert-Mayer, and I. Hans D. Jensen. According to Ivar Waller, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, at the presentation of the winner, 'an important step in the study of these forces [between nucleons] was made in. in 1933, when he discovered ... that the force between two nucleons is very weak, except in cases where the distance between them is extremely small, but if this force is a million times greater than the electrical forces between electrons in the outer part of atoms ... V. made and many other important discoveries in nuclear physics. He built a general theory of nuclear reactions and made a decisive contribution to the practical use of nuclear energy, he has woven together with more young scientists a new way in many other areas of physics'.
In 1971, Mr.. V. became an honorary professor emeritus at Princeton. He remained an active interest in philosophical questions of quantum mechanics and the future interaction between science and society. He was project director of civil defense for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1963. and director of a similar project in Oak idzhe in 1964 ... 1965.
In. married Amelia Tzipora Frank in 1936. She died the next year. Four years later he married Mary Annette Wheeler, professor of physics at Vassar College, and they had a son and daughter. Mary Wigner died in 1977, and in 1979. He married Eileen Kn. Hamilton. Since 1937. he is a citizen of the United States.
In addition to the Nobel Prize in. was awarded the U.S. Government medal of Merit (1946), . Enrico Fermi Medal of the American Atomic Energy Commission (1958), . Medal of the Max Planck Germanskogo Physical Society (1961) and the National Medal 'For his scientific achievements' of the National Science Foundation (1969), . as well as many other awards,
. He was awarded honorary degrees by more than twenty colleges and universities in the U.S. and Europe. He was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Mathematical Society. American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society. He is also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Gц╤ttingen.