July 8 – Happy Birthday to Russian Nobel Prize Winners!

Posted on July 8, 2015

On this date in 1894, Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa was born in Russia. He grew up to become a physicist, and in 1937, he discovered that helium becomes a superfluid in low temperatures.

Kapitsa ended up winning a Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery.

The next year on this date, 1895, Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm was born in Russia. He discovered, along with a man named Cherenkov, that there is a faint blue glow emitted when a charged particle passes through a liquid (or other material) faster than light travels through that liquid (or other material).

Tamm ended up winning a Nobel Prize in physics for his work, too.

Nice coincidence, eh?


Superfluid helium seems to defy gravity.
It climbs up the walls of its container
and then drips down and out of the
container. It can even create a fountain
like this:


As the fast-moving particle travels through a fluid,
it leaves behind an expanding "cone" of disturbance
in the fluid's electromagnetic field. Of course,
a disturbance in an electromagnetic field is light.


Also on this date:



































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