Leo Rainwater (1976) - Background for the Spheroidal Nuclear Model Proposal

Leo Rainwater (1976)

Background for the Spheroidal Nuclear Model Proposal

Leo Rainwater (1976)

Background for the Spheroidal Nuclear Model Proposal

Comment

On December 11, 1975, James Rainwater delivered his Nobel Lecture “Background for the Spheroidal Nuclear Model Proposal” in Stockholm, before an audience of academicians and other dignitaries. Slightly more than six months later, on July 1, 1976, he repeated the lecture in Lindau, before an audience mainly consisting of students and young scientists. For a Nobel Laureate coming to a Lindau Meeting the year after having received the Nobel Prize, this is not untypical. For us, it becomes an asset, since it means that many (or even all) of the illustrations shown on the lecture slides are available in the Nobel Lecture. In those days, such lectures tended to become rather technical and sometimes difficult to understand. Not so this time, for several reasons. One reason is that Rainwater for a long time had been teaching students, another is that he basically was an experimental physicist lecturing on a theoretical topic. As an experimentalist, he was not so interested in the theoretical machinery but more in the physical effects. Actually, it is an interesting fact that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences included Rainwater among the recipients of the 1975 physics prize. The other two, Aage Bohr and Ben Mottelson, were bona-fide theoreticians and had spent many years developing the spheroidal model of the atomic nucleus, starting with a paper by Bohr published in 1951. But the experimentalist Rainwater had published a paper already in 1950, where he suggested that the model might be useful, and that is certainly the reason that he was included among the three physics laureates. But a detailed understanding of the arguments are locked up in the Nobel archives at the RSAS. According to the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation, a time interval of 50 years must go before historians of science are allowed to look through the material, which means that not before January 2026, the detailed arguments will become known! Anders Bárány

Rate this content

 (<5 ratings)

Cite


Specify width: px

Share

Rate this content

 (<5 ratings)

Cite


Specify width: px

Share


Related Content