Laue, Dirac and Yukawa

Laue, Dirac and Yukawa

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Credit: AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: German physicist Max Laue (1879-1960, left) talking to British physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984) and Japanese physicist Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981). Laue is most famous for his work on X-ray diffraction and it was Laue's mathematical description that led to later work by the Braggs. He won the 1914 Nobel Prize for Physics. Dirac was a major contributor to quantum mechanics. His general theory of 1926 was followed, in 1928, by a relativistic theory that explained the phenomenon of electron spin. He used his theory to predict the existence of antiparticles such as the positron, which was observed in 1932. Yukawa proposed a new theory of nuclear forces and predicted the existence of mesons. This work earned Yukawa the 1949 Nobel Prize in Physics, making him the first Japanese Nobel winner.

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