Nobel Prizes 2012: Physics

The winners of the 2012 Nobel prizes are being announced this week. So each day, we’ll be looking to see what Nobel-related content we have in Europeana.

Today, we congratulate France’s Serge Haroche and the USA’s David Wineland for winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for their work in quantum optics – the precise control of photons, the fundamental units of light.

Follow the response here.

Some Nobel Physics facts for you…

  • The award is for ‘the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics’.
  • It has been awarded 105 times since 1901.
  • The average age of a Nobel Prize for Physics winner is 54.
  • The youngest winner was 25-year-old Lawrence Bragg in 1915, and the oldest was 88-year-old Raymond Davis Jnr in 2002.
  • The Prize has only ever been awarded to two women, Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

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Europeana’s Nobel Prize Winners Hall of Fame

The most well-known name on the list of Nobel Prize for Physics winners is Marie Curie.

Marie won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 with her husband Pierre, in recognition ofthe extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel’. Professor Becquerel was also rewarded for the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity’.

Did you know? Marie Curie was also the  sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Did you know? The word ‘radioactivity’ was coined by Marie Curie.

See Europeana’s Marie Curie collections here.

Formal portraits of Marie Curie, nèe Skłodowska, and Pierre Curie, taken by Henri Manuel/Eugene Pirou.

Marie and Pierre Curie at work in their laboratory c.1900.

Marie Curie’s holograph notebook containing notes of experiments on radioactive substances. 1899-1903.

Marie Curie and her daughter, Irène, at work in a laboratory, 1925.


Images: Wellcome Library, London, CC-BY-NC.

4 thoughts on “Nobel Prizes 2012: Physics

  1. Betrayal Of The Enlightenment Science Heritage

    Three glaring examples of betrayal of the Enlightenment science heritage:

    – The Higgs particle case: by plain common sense and data the origin of all mass in the universe is the minuscule pre-big-bang gravitons singularity…

    – Life nature and genesis: by plain common sense and data life is just another mass format …

    – The Genetics concepts: by plain common sense and data culture and natural selection are ubiquitous and genetics are their evolving RNA nucleotide progenies…

    Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)

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