Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1955
Willis E. Lamb, Polykarp Kusch

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Polykarp Kusch - Facts

Polykarp Kusch

Polykarp Kusch

Born: 26 January 1911, Blankenburg, Germany

Died: 20 March 1993, Dallas, TX, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: "for his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron"

Field: nuclear physics

Prize share: 1/2


In certain respects, electrons and atoms behave as if they were rotating charged particles that generate a magnetic field. Their magnetic moment provides a way of measuring how strongly they are affected by a magnetic field. Drawing upon quantum mechanics and relativity theory, Paul Dirac developed a theory for the interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields. Through precise measurements, Polykarp Kusch showed in 1947 that the electron's magnetic moment was somewhat greater than the theory predicted. This became important for the further development of quantum electrodynamics.

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