PHYS328 - Seminar
Biographies of 20th Century Physicists
Possible questions for test 2
Format for the test:
The test will contain 10 questions. You will be required to choose 8 questions
to answer. Only the 8 you choose will be graded.
The test will include at least 4 questions taken from the list below.
- Marie Curie and Lise Mietner faced many of the same challenges when trying
to do research, and didn't receive much of the credit they deserved, at least not
initially. Do you think they would have faced the same challenges today?
What was the Marie Curie Affair Scandal all about?
Discuss some of the obstacles Marie Curie had to overcome as a scientist and woman.
What was Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner's relationship like?
The media has a way of distorting the true intent and use of some scientific findings,
for example Rotengen's X-rays. They can also play a role in getting researchers the
recognition and even funding they may need. How do you think that the media can
help science and hinders it?
Do you think that Wilhelm Roentgen was a good physicist or just lucky? Is it possible
that he was both?
In studying Wilhelm Roentgen we learned one of his quotes was "A man must always
have luck in life to get anywhere." How do you think this applied or did not apply to
Wilhelm Roentgen was no the typical child prodigy. In contrast, he was a considered a
troublemaker at times. Explain how his childhood actions effected his future academic
Discuss why Roentgen waited for seven weeks before publishing his findings
about x-rays coming from cathode ray tubes.
Feynman was reluctant to work with the Roger's Commission on the explosion of the
Challenger space shuttle. Why was he reluctant? In what ways did he show a high level
of dedication to the task?
Feynman caused some problems for the security personnel at Los Alamos. Describe a stunt
Feynman pulled and explain his motivation for the act.
Feynman had quite a personality and liked to play practical jokes. What were some of the
things Feynman did to show this side of himself?
Describe Schrodinger's "Cat in the Box" thought experiment. Explain possible implications of that
What were J.J. Thompson's belief's on education?
What were some of the attacks on Millikan's character by his peers?