In 1911, Ernest Solvay, the Belgian chemist and industrialist founded Conseil Solvay, the world’s first physics conference. Initially aimed at solving problems in physics and chemistry, the conferences are held every three years.
The above group photo was taken at the end of the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference. The tensions were high: Einstein sparred with Heisenberg over the latter’s Uncertainty Principle. The attendees disagreed on the Copenhagen interpretation of atom, was promoted by a faction led by Niels Bohr, and opposed by more conservative faction lead by Albert Einstein. By the end of the conference, Bohr’s faction had prevailed.
First Row (l to r): Irving Langmuir, Max Planck, Marie Curie, Hendrik Lorentz, Albert Einstein, Pierre Langevin, Charles Eugene Guye, C. T. R. Wilson, Owen W. Richardson
Second Row (l to r): Peter Debye, Martin Knudson, W. Lawrence Bragg, Hans Kramer, Paul Dirac, Arthur Compton, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Niels Bohr
Third Row (l to r): Auguste Piccard, Émile Henriot, Paul Ehrenfest, Edouard Herzen,Théophile de Donder, Erwin Schrodinger, Jules-Emile Vershaffelt, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Ralph Howard Fowler, Leon Brillouin.
Seventeen of the twenty-nine attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners.
31 thoughts on “The Solvay Conference”
What an incredible photo. It’s a veritable Who’s Who of Science!
Yes, I’ve always loved that picture. So many great minds in one shot.
[…] photo of attendees at the 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference. Seventeen out of the twenty-nine conference […]
A great photograph on many counts.
Did anyone film the talks? 🙂
[…] And two links which put a smile on my face: here and here. […]
See the guy on the very left of the photo in the second row, Peter Debye?? looks like Hitler?????
Yaa ..he is Hitler 😉
At least 5 are Jews:
Einstein, Born, Pauli, Ehrenfest, Bohr.
At least half of them
Many more were German.
I had never seen this picture before, thanks for sharing it 🙂 And I’m very glad for Marie Curie, the only woman in the picture!!!
This is really great photograph.We are lucky to see many Great Scientist together :)Special Thanks to Photographer 🙂
Really very good to see gr8 scientist captured in one photo 🙂 wonderful 🙂
What a great photo !
Really its an amazing moment to see all the great scientist at one place 🙂
A breath-taking group photo which should be a dream possession for any chemist or physicist worth his salt. This photo and details of this conference were published in the lead article under the name “75 years of Quantum Physics” in one issue of the monthly magazine “Science Today” sometime in the 70’s/80’s.I have misplaced the issue. I would be beholden to anybody who could help me in getting a copy of this particular issue or any lead on how to find it on the net. Very many thanks –
It is said that “Thinking is good business … there is little competition” Here are the competitors!!
How can I purchase a print of the 1927 Solvey conference?
Great scientists succeeded to establish the great theories to the mankind, which they can visualize and imagine, which made them great scientific celebrities.
I absolutely love this picture. Would you get that today?
What a great photo. Isn’t Marie Curie the only one to win two Nobel Prizes?
baldness = intelligence then ?
haha…cant believe some guys thumbed it down!!..which god do they trust??
[…] which is one of my favorite pictures of scientists. The participants aren’t identified, but Iconic Images tells you who they are (see below photo). Perhaps no other photograph contains so much human […]
Does anyone know where to purchase a print of this photo?
For years I didn’t realize that factory called “Solvey Factory” was linked to so many famous scientist!!!
Nowadays there is a shopping center called Zakopianka in Cracow(Poland)
Reblogged this on e comentado:
best photo of my life
[…] The Solvay Conference « Iconic PhotosJan 28, 2010 … Second Row (l to r): Peter Debye, Martin Knudson, W. Lawrence Bragg, Hans Kramer, Paul Dirac, Arthur Compton, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, … […]
[…] View full list of names here: https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/the-solvay-conference/ […]
Meh, no Rutherford? And Born is Olivia Newton John’s grandfather but that somehow she doesn’t get in the picture It’s basically, Planck, Curie and Schrodinger and a bunch of theoretical whiners. Einstein??? Y’know why he’s quoted so much? He never shut up.