Member of SCNAT

The Swiss Physical Society (SPS) is the national professional association of Physicists coming from teaching, research, development and industry. The diversity of modern research in physics is reflected in ten specific sections.

Image: ESO

Physics Anecdotes and Personal Recollections

With this series we would like to present interesting events in a loose consequence from the physics history. Since physics exchanges impulses traditionally with the adjacent fields of the philosophy and the techniques, we also will consider events from this interaction. We think of the work of great scientists, their contacts to interesting contemporaries but also their influence on the current affairs.

Knowledge Transfer

As of October 2020 (Article No. 22), the series has been renamed from "Physics Anecdotes" to "Physics Anecdotes and Personal Memories." The idea was that Switzerland does effectively and efficiently manage the knowledge flow from basic university research to manufacturing industry, i.e., it recognizes what is relevant and then pushes it forward in appropriate funding programs. But this usually favors those topics where the interface problems in the evolution chain can be minimized by existing close cooperations between university researchers and industrial developers.
This was also the case in the past, but valuable research ideas were often forgotten if, for example, their physical-technical implementation was not yet sufficiently mastered at the time, or if market access was not yet given or even not apparent on the industrial side. When new design opportunities arise later, such as the transition from micro- to nanotechnology or from the optical to the X-ray field, the active knowledge is often no longer present or it lies in archives and is known only to a few experts.

Old wine in new bottles

Therefore, if you have the feeling that a scientific or technical idea you pursued in the past might now have a better chance of realization and should therefore be looked at more closely again, please let us know.