• Publications
  • Influence
A Simultaneous Discovery: The Case of Johannes Stark and Antonino Lo Surdo
In 1913 the German physicist Johannes Stark (1874–1957) and the Italian physicist Antonino Lo Surdo (1880–1949)discovered virtually simultaneously and independently that hydrogen spectral lines are
Zeeman's discovery and the mass of the electron
Summary In an article published recently in this journal, one of us reconstructed how in 1899 J. J. Thomson, after having measured the mass-to-charge ratio of the corpuscle (which became our
"Rutherford's Experiment" on Alpha Particles Scattering: The Experiment That Never Was.
The so-called Rutherford's experiment, as it is outlined in many physics textbooks, is a case in point of the flaws around the history at the educational level of one of the decisive event of modern
The Discovery of Artificial Radioactivity
We reconstruct Frédéric Joliot and Irène Curie’s discovery of artificial radioactivity in January 1934 based in part on documents preserved in the Joliot–Curie Archives in Paris, France. We argue
A note on the Wilson cloud chamber (1912)
A technical description of the 'Wilson cloud chamber' developed by C T R Wilson in 1911–12 will be given here. This instrument soon became a fundamental tool of research in nuclear, cosmic ray and
When Energy Conservation Seems to Fail: The Prediction of the Neutrino
A historical case study concerning the serious doubts that arose in early 1930s about the validity of the law of energy conservation in nuclear disintegrations, and the hypothesis of neutrino, will
Enrico Fermi’s Discovery of Neutron-Induced Artificial Radioactivity:The Influence of His Theory of Beta Decay
We analyze the influence of Enrico Fermi’s theory of beta decay, which he formulated in December 1933, on his experimental discovery of neutron-induced artificial radioactivity four months later, in
Enrico Fermi’s Discovery of Neutron-Induced Artificial Radioactivity: Neutrons and Neutron Sources
Abstract.We reconstruct and analyze the path leading from James Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron in February 1932 through Frédéric Joliot and Irène Curie’s discovery of artificial radioactivity in
Max Planck and the 'Constants of Nature'
When at the end of the 1900s Planck introduced the constant h into the black-body radiation law together with constant k, he provided no explanation of either its meaning or why it had that