Mathematicians Who Became Physicists

  • Thread starter anonca
  • Start date
  • #1
1
0
I know of mainly two famous physicists who came from a distinguishly mathematical background:
Freeman Dyson
Roger Penrose

I'm sure there have been many, many, many others, so could anyone name me some more physicists who came from a mathematics background?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
538
148
Neumann, although some might not agree he was a physicist.
 
  • #3
740
13
where do you draw the line anyway? Hilbert did some work on general relativity & I think kinetic theory of gases.
 
  • #4
epenguin
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,863
895
Fourier should come into this somehow?
 
  • #5
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
617
Fourier should come into this somehow?

Yes, he has his place in the series.
 
  • #6
collinsmark
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,939
1,387
Or engineers developing mathematics such as Harry Nyquist.

People shouldn't necessarily be pegged as one thing or another. One can do mathematics, physics, or engineering, depending what hat one wants to wear at at the time. No individual has to exclusively choose a single one at the expense of the others.
 
  • #7
225
8
Yes, he has his place in the series.

I'm responding simply because I think this post is worthy of recognition.
 
  • #8
6,265
1,280
I'm responding simply because I think this post is worthy of recognition.
I'll second that.
 
  • #9
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
50
Or engineers developing mathematics such as Harry Nyquist.

People shouldn't necessarily be pegged as one thing or another. One can do mathematics, physics, or engineering, depending what hat one wants to wear at at the time. No individual has to exclusively choose a single one at the expense of the others.
True. People can often be recognized for their work that some might feel is "outside their field". That's OK.
 
  • #10
S_Happens
Gold Member
305
3
Or engineers developing mathematics such as Harry Nyquist.

People shouldn't necessarily be pegged as one thing or another. One can do mathematics, physics, or engineering, depending what hat one wants to wear at at the time. No individual has to exclusively choose a single one at the expense of the others.

To further expound on this, I was going to use Josiah Willard Gibbs as an example. He was awarded the first PhD in engineering in America, and contributed quite impressively (understatement) to many other fields.
 
  • #11
atyy
Science Advisor
14,423
2,704
Newton - calculus, laws of motion, gravity
Lagrange - calculus of variations, Lagrangian formulation of mechanics
Hamilton - quaternions, Hamiltonian formulation of mechanics
Poincare - topology, symmetries of electrodynamics, stability of solar system
Kolmogorov, Arnold, Moser - stability of solar system
Ruelle, Takens - strange attractor, turbulence
Elie Cartan - differential geometry, general relativity
Birkhoff - ergodic theory, general relativity
Goedel - logic, general relativity
Yau - differential geometry, positive energy theorem
Arthur Jaffe - quantum field theory
Barry Simon - quantum field theory
Tadeusz Balaban - Yang-Mills theory
Peter Shor - quantum computation
Michael Freedman - topology, topological quantum computation
Andrew Hodges - twistors
John Baez - spin foams
Kevin Costello - quantum field theory
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Mathematicians Who Became Physicists

  • Last Post
3
Replies
67
Views
38K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
16
Views
924
Replies
7
Views
5K
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
14
Views
7K
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Top