I've got a term paper due in a couple of weeks and I need to find a historical physicist to write it about. The paper will highlight his/her's contributions to physics and will be a bit on the technical side (including equations, maybe some derivations and proofs). I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to who I should write it about. Are there any lesser known people I could reasonably write a paper on that would be interesting? I've thought about doing Euler, or Oppenheimer, but these guys are so famous and well known already. Someone in the field of particle physics or QFT, QM in general would be cool. Thanks a lot!
A lot of the physics I have taken an interest in outside of coursework was investigated and developed by Wigner (Wiki link). Two big things related to quantum mechanics are Wigner's theorem and the Wigner function. The Wigner function is particularly interesting since it tries to recover some sense of phase space in quantum mechanics. In general, I suggest you look for people from earlier in the 20th century since their contributions are more likely to be a part of the general curriculum or just a few steps away. If you pick someone too recent you may find the required knowledge for understanding their contributions is rather large. I give this advice with the context that this may be a slightly technical paper.