Institut International de Physique Solvay

One of the most famous photos in the history of physics captures the illustrious participants at the fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels, October 1927. Twenty-nine physicists, the main quantum theorists of the day, came together to discuss the topic “Electrons and Photons”. Seventeen of the 29 attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners.

Following is a “home movie” shot by Irving Langmuir, (the 1932 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry). It captures 2 minutes of an intermission in the proceedings. Twenty-one of the 29 attendees are on the film. The film opens with quick shots of Erwin Schrödinger and Niels Bohr. Auguste Piccard of the University of Brussels follows and then the camera re-focuses on Schrödinger and Bohr.

The voice-over is by Nancy Thorndike Greenspan.