RAN Technology

The Solvay Conference, 1927

Historic 0 Comments 12/27/2018 

The Smartest Photograph Ever Take

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)

The Solvay Conference, founded by the Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay in 1912, was considered a turning point in the world of physics. Located in Brussels, the conferences were devoted to outstanding preeminent open problems in both physics and chemistry. The most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The leading figures were Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.

Back: Auguste Piccard, Émile Henriot, Paul Ehrenfest, Édouard Herzen, Théophile de Donder, Erwin Schrödinger, JE Verschaffelt, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Ralph Fowler, Léon Brillouin.

Middle: Peter Debye, Martin Knudsen, William Lawrence Bragg, Hendrik Anthony Kramers, Paul Dirac, Arthur Compton, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Niels Bohr.

Front: Irving Langmuir, Max Planck, Marie Curie, Hendrik Lorentz, Albert Einstein, Paul Langevin, Charles-Eugène Guye, CTR Wilson, Owen Richardson.

The scientists on the picture:

Auguste Piccard designed ships to explore the upper stratosphere and the deep seas (bathyscaphe, 1948).

Emile Henriot detected the natural radioactivity of potassium and rubidium. He made ultracentrifuges possible and pioneered the electron microscope.

Paul Ehrenfest remarked (in 1909) that Special Relativity makes the rim of a spinning disk shrink but not its diameter. This contradiction with Euclidean geometry inspired Einstein’s General Relativity. Ehrenfest was a great teacher and a pioneer of quantum theory.

Edouard Herzen is one of only 7 people who participated in the two Solvay conferences of 1911 and 1927. He played a leading role in the development of physics and chemistry during the twentieth century.

Théophile de Donder defined chemical affinity in terms of the change in the free enthalpy. He founded the thermodynamics of irreversible processes, which led his student Ilya Prigogine (1917-2006) to a Nobel prize.

Erwin Schrödinger matched observed quantum behavior with the properties of a continuous nonrelativistic wave obeying the Schrödinger Equation. In 1935, he challenged the Copenhagen Interpretation, with the famous tale of Schrödinger’s cat. He shared the nobel prize with Dirac.

Jules Emile Verschaffelt, the Flemish physicist, got his doctorate under Kamerlingh Onnes in 1899.

Wolfgang Pauli formulated the exclusion principle which explains the entire table of elements. Pauli’s sharp tongue was legendary; he once said about a bad paper: “This isn’t right; this isn’t even wrong.”

Werner Heisenberg replaced Bohr’s semi-classical orbits by a new quantum logic which became known as matrix mechanics (with the help of Born and Jordan). The relevant noncommutativity entails Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

Sir Ralph Howard Fowler supervised 15 FRS and 3 Nobel laureates. In 1923, he introduced Dirac to quantum theory.

Léon Nicolas Brillouin practically invented solid state physics (Brillouin zones) and helped develop the technology that became the computers we use today.

Peter Debye pioneered the use of dipole moments for asymmetrical molecules and extended Einstein’s theory of specific heat to low temperatures by including low-energy phonons.

Martin Knudsen revived Maxwell’s kinetic theory of gases, especially at low pressure: Knudsen flow, Knudsen number etc.

William Lawrence Bragg was awarded the Nobel prize for physics jointly with his father Sir William Henry Bragg for their work on the analysis of the structure of crystals using X-ray diffraction.

Hendrik Kramers was the first foreign scholar to seek out Niels Bohr. He became his assistant and helped develop what became known as Bohr’s Institute, where he worked on dispersion theory.

Paul Dirac came up with the formalism on which quantum mechanics is now based. In 1928, he discovered a relativistic wave function for the electron which predicted the existence of antimatter, before it was actually observed.

Arthur Holly Compton figured that X-rays collide with electrons as if they were relativistic particles, so their frequency shifts according to the angle of deflection (Compton scattering).

Louis de Broglie discovered that any particle has wavelike properties, with a wavelength inversely proportional to its momentum (this helps justify Schrödinger’s equation).

Max Born’s probabilistic interpretation of Schrödinger’s wave function ended determinism in physics but provided a firm ground for quantum theory.

Irving Langmuir was an American chemist and physicist. His most noted publication was the famous 1919 article “The Arrangement of Electrons in Atoms and Molecules”.

Max Planck originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. He proposed that exchanges of energy only occur in discrete lumps, which he dubbed quanta.

Niels Bohr started the quantum revolution with a model where the orbital angular momentum of an electron only has discrete values. He spearheaded the Copenhagen Interpretation which holds that quantum phenomena are inherently probabilistic.

Marie Curie was the first woman to earn a Nobel prize and the first person to earn two. In 1898, she isolated two new elements (polonium and radium) by tracking their ionizing radiation, using the electrometer of Jacques and Pierre Curie.

Hendrik Lorentz discovered and gave theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the transformation equations subsequently used by Albert Einstein to describe space and time.

Albert Einstein developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).He is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”). He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”.

Paul Langevin developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation. He had a love affair with Marie Curie.

Charles-Eugène Guye was a professor of Physics at the University of Geneva. For Guye, any phenomenon could only exist at certain observation scales.

Charles Thomson Rees Wilson reproduced cloud formation in a box. Ultimately, in 1911, supersaturated dust-free ion-free air was seen to condense along the tracks of ionizing particles. The Wilson cloud chamber detector was born.

Sir Owen Willans Richardson won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1928 for his work on thermionic emission, which led to Richardson’s Law.

(Photo credit: Benjamin Couprie, Institut International de Physique de Solvay.

   Put yourself in 1963...A stamp was a nickel, bread was 22 cents a loaf, and you could buy 3 gallons of gas for a buck.   The average wage in the US was $84 a week.  If you were a ham, you might have been able to build and trade your way up to a really nice AM/CW station - maybe a Valiant or DX-100 transmitter with an NC-300 or HQ-170 receiver - a huge improvement over the S-38 you s...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/17/2018 

Astro...Don Stoner's legacy

How many of these rare transceivers have you seen?
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
A recent post on the Cubic-Astro mail reflector noted the similarities between the rare CIR Astro 200 and the much more common Cubic Astro 150 transceivers.   And therein lies an  interesting story...I have done a little research on the CIR Astro 200, and the commenter was right - it is the progenitor of the Astro line we are much more familiar with as a result of Swan (already owne...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/09/2018 

The DX-60 Family

what hath Benton Harbor wrought?
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
When an engineer at Heathkit in 1962 turned his attention to designing a replacement for the somewhat flawed DX-40 novice transmitter, little would he have expected the DX-60 to remain in the Heathkit catalog for 14 years.    From the new solid-state power supply to the streamlined apeperance and dependable performace, the new transmitter was instantly popular with novices who had t...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/09/2018 
   Epson programmable oscillators are a good substitute for quartz crystals in many applications, but they're a bit different to use.   First, they are active devices that require DC power, typically 5 volts at 45mA.    Second, like all ICs they are easily damaged by static and voltages that exceed the design limits.   Finally they are in DIP packates that are i...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/08/2018 

Programmable Oscillators - the modern day "rock"

Cheaper and more accurate and stable than the old type
Category: Crystal Replacement
With the demise of  International Crystal in 2018, hams and experimenters lost the last US-based source of affordable one-off custom crystals.  (And the definition of "affordable" ended up over $30 each).     Sure there are some offshore sources but the reality is, manufacturing one crystal to a specific frequency is not simple or inexpensive, and all crysta...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/06/2018 

"A Pair of 6V6s"

What more does one need to hear good audio?
Category: Vintage Audio
The first audio amplififer I made (that worked) used a single 6V6 to amplify the output of a regenerative receiver.    Ever since they've been my idea of what a good audio tube should be and with a big speaker mounted on a piece of plywood, a 6V6 will produce "room filling volume" as the magazine articles fo the day said.   But as my music tastes grew acousti...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/03/2018 
   My primary aim when desiging the VERSA-TR was low power transmitters, and to protect the receiver from potentially damaging voltages when transmitting. 100 watts into 50 ohms is a +50dBm signal.  I'd measured the attenuation at the receiver connector in the labe at -60 to -70 dB (depending on frequency), which means that should result in -10 to -20dB at the receiver, which should be ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/29/2018 

VERSA-TR Panadaptor Video

Use the VERSA-TR to improve your SDR panadaptor
Category: VERSA-TR Information
An inexpensive SDR like my RANVerter Pi Plus can add a panoramic spectrum and waterfall display to almost any vintage (or modern) radio.    The ability to use the SDR as a 2nd receiver that can be tuned to a different frequency or mode from the main transceiver is a real plus, but annoying feedback and delayed audio will be normally heard through the PC speakers in the transmit mode...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/27/2018 
   The muting relay on the VERSA-TR can be used to control other devices when RF is present.   An example would be an "On The Air" sign, or to key an amplifier.    One specially-wired cable is required - note that no connection is made to the sleeve, which is usually the ground connection on a TRS plug.  A normally-open set of relay contacts exists between the ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/13/2018 

VIEW News Item

Take the Boatanchor Survey!

Let authors and organizers know what you're interested in
VIEW News Item

Announcing the VERSA-TR (as seen in Dec. 2018 QST)

A Versatile T/R solution for SDRs and vintage radios
VIEW News Item

Mike Beachy N8ECR - SK

"If there's a ham radio heaven, they've got a hell of a net control operator"
VIEW News Item

K9QET Update

AM stalwart net control op and all-round good guy needs your thoughts and prayers
VIEW News Item

DX-60 Website Announced

Celebrating the fun of low-power AM

(There are currently no Blogs.)