Article ID: CBB001251951

On the First Solvay Congress in 1911 (2011)


Straumann, Norbert (Author)

European Physical Journal H
Volume: 36, no. 3
Issue: 3
Pages: 379-399

Late in October 1911, eighteen leading scientists from all over Europe met to the first of a famous sequence of Solvay conferences in Brussels. This historical meeting was mainly devoted to The Theory of Radiation and the Quanta, at a time when the foundations of physics were totally shaken. Although nothing positive came out (Einstein), it is interesting to see the diverging attitudes of Europe's most famous scientists in the middle of the quantum revolution. After a few general remarks about the conference, I shall focus on some of the most interesting contributions and discussions. Einstein, at 32 the youngest, was clearly most aware of the profound nature of the crises. He gave the final talk entitled The Present State of the Problem of Specific Heats, but he put his theme into the larger context of the quantum problem, and caused a barrage of challenges, in particular from Lorentz, Planck, Poincaré, and others.

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Authors & Contributors
Fara, Patricia
Hentschel, Klaus
Rowlinson, John S.
Bokulich, Alisa
Dongen, Jeroen van
Jung, Tobias
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Perspectives on Science
Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences
W. W. Norton & Co.
Cambridge University Press
Princeton University Press
Yale University Press
Drew University
Oxford University Press
Quantum mechanics
Theoretical physics
Congresses, conferences, and meetings
Philosophy of science
Controversies and disputes
Einstein, Albert
Bohr, Niels Henrik David
Schrödinger, Erwin
Heisenberg, Werner
Dirac, Paul Adrien Maurice
Rupp, Philipp Heinrich Emil
Brussels (Belgium)
United States
Paris (France)
20th century, early
20th century
Solvay Conferences

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