Polykarp Kusch Biography
Birthday: January 26, 1911 (Aquarius)
Born In: Blankenburg, District of Blankenburg, Duchy of Brunswick, German Empire
Polykarp Kusch was a German-American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 for his landmark measurement of the magnetic moment of an electron. He worked under Isidor Isaac Rabi in carrying out various experiments on the magnetic resonance of molecular beams. He proved that magnetic moment of an electron was greater than its theoretical value by measuring it accurately with the help of magnetic resonance methodology. His measurement of the electron’s magnetic moment in a hydrogen atom was used to correct some of the anomalies in earlier findings. His discovery had a great impact on the study of Quantum Electrodynamics or QED as all of the theories existing till then had to be revised after considering the findings made by him. He shared the Nobel Prize with Willis E. Lamb who had also done the same deductions independently. He was a mechanical genius and designed and built his own apparatus for carrying out the experiments. Designing his own apparatus to the last screw gave him immense pleasure and to him it looked like getting the answers to his questions as the apparatus took its shape. His findings helped develop MRI technology later. His association with ‘Columbia University’ was for more than 30 years during which he worked with other institutions as well.