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Which Physicist Are You? | American Institute of Physics

Have you ever spent lengthy, sleepless nights questioning which physicist you emulate essentially the most? Perhaps you’ve flipped via textbooks and magazines looking for a task mannequin with the identical style in ice cream or dwelling decor fashion to no avail. Effectively, the group on the Niels Bohr Library & Archives is right here to assist. We curated a few of our favourite physicists and recognized your burning questions so you may lastly relaxation simple. Be sure you click on on the pink-outlined portraits to study extra about your inside physicist… and your self.


Luis Alvarez (1911-1988)

You’re Luis Alvarez! You like experimental physics, however that’s not all! You attempt to attempt new issues and increase your thoughts and skillsets each time doable. Your big selection of pursuits brings you involved with plenty of new colleagues and mates, though you could describe your self as an introvert. You cherish your loved ones and revel in collaborating with them to develop scientific theories.

Luis W. Alvarez was an American experimental physicist and inventor. In 1968, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the event of the hydrogen bubble chamber. Alvarez can be identified for his work on radar programs, the Manhattan Mission, and theories on dinosaur extinction which he developed together with his son, Walter.

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

You’re Benjamin Banneker! You like inviting all your mates over for extravagant candlelit dinners. No subject of dialog is off-limits, however you are inclined to steer it in direction of one thing visionary, like interstellar journey.

Benjamin Banneker was a mathematician, astronomer, surveyor, and almanac writer. Born in 1731 a free African-American, Banneker is probably most well-known for his building of a wood clock. The clock was constructed fully from scratch and stored exact time for practically 40 years.

Laura Bassi (1711-1778)

You’re Laura Bassi! Like this spectacular physicist, you allure others simply via your intelligence and charisma and are open-minded to new concepts and views. Your private home is filled with artwork and the latest expertise. On a scorching summer time day, you may be discovered having fun with chocolate gelato with mates, animatedly discussing mental matters.

Laura Bassi was an eighteenth-century physics professor and experimental physicist in Bologna, Italy. She was Europe’s first feminine physics professor and was the second lady to obtain a college diploma. Along with lecturing and fascinating in public debates, Bassi performed her personal analysis and opened a faculty for experimental physics that students throughout Europe attended.

Annie Leap Cannon (1863-1941) 

You’re Annie Leap Cannon! In the case of endurance and particulars, you’re a machine. Actually! Your nickname is Pc Cannon! Nothing pleases you greater than a heat summer time night time spent gazing on the stars (ideally with a vanilla milkshake in hand). You accumulate just a little little bit of all the pieces, from small canines (the smaller the higher) to the 350,000 stars you categorised throughout your profession at Harvard Observatory. Individuals might imagine you’re sedate and old style, however you like to embrace the brand new and thrilling, like John Phillips Sousa marches and new stellar classification programs.

Annie Leap Cannon was an astronomer who spent her profession doing stellar classification at Harvard with Edward C. Pickering. One of many well-known Harvard Computer systems, she categorised 350,000 stars throughout her profession, greater than anybody else. The stellar classification system she developed remains to be used right this moment.

Eunice Foote (1819-1888)

You’re Eunice Foote! There may be by no means a uninteresting second in your life as you’re continuously busy pursuing your targets and passions. Typically you don’t obtain the popularity you deserve however your contributions is not going to go unnoticed ceaselessly. You like spending time along with your shut family and friends and love life’s easy pleasures, like a pleasant stroll on a summer time day.

Eunice Foote was an American scientist who found the heat-absorbing properties of water vapor and carbon dioxide in 1856. She predicted local weather change when she concluded: “an environment of that fuel [carbon dioxide] would give to our earth a excessive temperature.” Till 2011, nonetheless, she was unrecognized for her scientific contributions. Foote was additionally an inventor and suffragette, preventing for girls’s proper to vote.

Joan Hinton (1921-2010)

You’re Joan Hinton! You don’t want fancy homes, gadgets, or titles to be completely happy and are strongly led by your morals. You employ your scientific mindset to assist make the world a greater place to dwell, whether or not it’s making dairy farms extra environment friendly or taking part in political actions.

Joan Hinton’s profession in physics started in 1944 when she was in graduate college; she was recruited to work on the Manhattan Mission with Enrico Fermi. Assuming the bomb would simply be utilized in an illustration explosion, she was shocked when the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have become an enthusiastic peace activist. She moved to China in 1948 throughout the Communist revolution, the place she lived and labored till her dying in 2010.

Elmer Imes (1883-1941)

You’re Elmer Imes! You’re a profitable tutorial however you additionally recognize the significance of celebrating tradition and the humanities. You get pleasure from an evening of music with shut mates as a lot as you like experimentally proving groundbreaking quantum theories.

Experimental spectroscoper Elmer Imes was the second African American to earn a doctorate in physics. He labored in spectroscopy and quantum mechanics, was concerned in New York Metropolis’s Harlem Renaissance, and later went on to determine Fisk College’s Physics Division.

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)

You’re Katherine Johnson! You’re obsessed with your work, and also you don’t let anybody or something get in your approach on the subject of attaining your targets. You don’t do it for the popularity, however when folks see the way you excel when doing what you like, they will’t assist however admire you. You’re a tech whiz however can simply as simply preserve your self busy fixing equations manually by the sunshine of a beautiful summer-scented candle. You wish to give attention to the little particulars that each one work collectively and preserve all the pieces working easily, and because of this, everybody is aware of they will rely on you. And naturally, like all NASA staff, you like to journey by spaceship each time you may (an proven fact).

Katherine Johnson was a mathematician and laptop for NASA. Her handbook calculations had been a significant a part of the science that made the Apollo missions doable. Johnson, an African American lady, was not widely known for her contributions for a lot of many years. A 2016 novel and movie, each titled Hidden Figures, instructed the story of Katherine and different NASA computer systems, which educated the general public on the numerous function they’d within the success of the well-known missions.

Frank Kameny (1925-2011)

You’re Frank Kameny! You embrace the KonMari method to materials items and also you hate muddle. You keep up late working via these chilly winter nights in your political activism, perched underneath your favourite electrical job mild and petting your rescue tabby cat. You’re a trend-setter, not a trend-follower, so when somebody asks you whether or not you’d like chocolate or vanilla ice cream, you say each. Astronomy is all within the particulars, however you’re targeted on the large image targets of equality and respect for all.

Frank Kameny was an astronomer and homosexual rights activist. Early in his profession, he was fired from a place as an astronomer within the US Military’s Map Service (and barred from any future authorities positions) on account of his homosexuality. He petitioned the Supreme Courtroom to overturn this determination, although they refused to take up the case. Denied a profession in astronomy, he spent the remainder of his life advocating for homosexual rights.

Vera Rubin (1928-2016)

You’re Vera Rubin! Your curiosity about our existence in house and time and your love of the celebrities are each insatiable. As you ponder the questions of the universe, you’ll use no matter expertise works finest to search for solutions. Or, you may focus on your ideas with your loved ones and mates.

American astronomer Vera Rubin was one of the vital influential scientists of her period for her monumental contributions to darkish matter analysis and her advocacy efforts for girls within the sciences.

Abdus Salam (1926-1996)

You’re Abdus Salam! Your coronary heart thrills as you ponder the small mysteries of the universe, which you like to do on a chilly, brisk morning stroll along with your previous English bulldog pup. Higher but, you’re excited to share your data and enthusiasm with the world on any morning.

Abdus Salam was a famend theoretical physicist who made main efforts towards rising the physics group in his native Pakistan and in different underrepresented nations. He grew to become a Nobel Laureate in 1979 for his contributions to the electroweak unification concept.

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997)

You’re Chien-Shiung Wu! You like waking up on chilly December mornings to get pleasure from a heat cup of espresso, however you’re very explicit concerning the roast. You often go for a heavy-bottomed mug so your Norwegian Forest cat can’t knock it off the desk.

Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese language- American physicist identified for her work on the Manhattan Mission and contributions to experimental and particle physics. Wu’s experiments confirming the invalidity of the conservation of parity regulation led to the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics. Nevertheless, Wu was notably snubbed, as solely her colleagues, Tsung Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang, acquired the Prize. In her retirement, Wu commonly lectured to advertise STEM schooling for younger ladies.


The aim of this submit is to introduce you to some superb scientists. These solutions are speculative and based mostly on what we all know of those physicists. For instance, we now have no documentation displaying Laura Bassi didn’t like jazz, nonetheless as an 18th-century Italian physicist, she wouldn’t have ever heard jazz. Some solutions are only for enjoyable, and for the aim of the diagram. It’s doable Frank Kameny’s favourite ice cream was rocky street and we would by no means know. Should you occur to know the actual reply to any of those questions on any of those physicists, we’d love to listen to from you!

*Particular because of Tom Connell, Abigail Malate, Sam Holland, Sarah Weirich, Allison Rein, Audrey Lengel, Joanna Behrman, and Corinne Mona for his or her contributions to this submit.

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