Angel "Java" Lopez en Blog

17 de Junio, 2012

Publicado el 17 de Junio, 2012, 6:15

El mes pasado escribí:

Uhlenbeck, Goudsmit y el spin del electrón

Hace un tiempo, descubrí el artículo biográfico de Goudsmit

The discovery of the electron spin

muy interesante, y sobre el que tendría que comentar tanto. También tengo pendiente el leer en detalle el excelente libro de Tomonaga The Story of the Spin. Pero hoy quiero comentar/destacar este párrafo del artículo de Goudsmit, algo sobre la historia de la física que descubrí en ese texto. Erhenfest fue una gran y buena influencia para sus estudiantes, y acá se demuestra ese "toque Erhenfest":

Ehrenfest had written him [a Uhlenbeck] a letter in which he said: "I have read an article by a young man, it looks nice and one ought to try and see him". Well, in those days, when your professor wrote you, you did it. And George Uhlenbeck went to see that young man; the young man just came back from Germany and was totally discouraged. He had spent a semester in Göttingen and there they had given him a treatment: "Well that man cannot know anything, besides being too small he never studied anyplace worthwhile". So the young man really got discouraged and meant to give up physics. But Uhlenbeck said: "Don't do that before you first talk to Ehrenfest; come and see Ehrenfest." And the man came to Leiden and stayed for two or three months with Ehrenfest, of which I can show a picture. A well-known picture that you may have seen before: there is that young man, Enrico Fermi. And under Ehrenfest's encouragement it dawned on him that he really was a competent physicist. And if you look at Fermi's career ....... those are the days in which he really became a great physicist.

Vean cómo Fermi estaba algo desilusionado de la física luego del trato despectivo que había recibido en Gotinga. Tal vez le debamos a Ehrenfest ese rescate de Fermi para la física y la historia humana.

Otros posts sobre Ehrenfest:

Paul Ehrenfest, según Gamow
Más Paul Ehrenfest, según Gamow
El triste caso de Paul Ehrenfest

Nos leemos!

Angel "Java" Lopez

Por ajlopez, en: Ciencia