Advertisement

Physics in Perspective

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 3–36 | Cite as

Carried by History: Cesar Lattes, Nuclear Emulsions, and the Discovery of the Pi-meson

  • Cássio Leite Vieira
  • Antonio Augusto Passos Videira
Article

Abstract

We analyze the role played by the Brazilian physicist Cesar Lattes (1924–2005) in the historical development of the nuclear emulsion technique and in the co-discovery of the pion. His works influenced and gave impetus to the development of experimental physics in Brazil, the foundation of a national center dedicated to physics research, the beginnings of Brazilian “Big Science,” and the inauguration of a long-lasting collaboration between Brazil and Japan in the field of comic ray physics.

Keywords

Cesar Lattes Gleb Wataghin Giuseppe Occhialini Cecil F. Powell Eugene Gardner nuclear emulsion technique mesons Mount Chacaltaya history of elementary particle physics history of physics in Brazil 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors express their gratitude for funding from FAPERJ (Process E–26/111.441/2011) and logistical support from the Documentation and Information Department of the Brazilian Center for Physics Research (Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation). We also acknowledge the support given by Telma Murari from SIARQ/UNICAMP. The authors thank Edison Shibuya, Ruth Lewin Sime, Karl Grandin, director of the Center for the History of Science at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Donald H. Perkins, Konrad Szczesniak, and Joe Olmi. This article is part of a project entitled “O Laboratório de Física Cósmica de Chacaltaya—Tentativa brasileira de Big Science?” (E–26/111.441/2011—APQ1), financed by Faperj (Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). One of us (AAPV) would like to thank the financial support of CPNq.

References

  1. 1.
    José Reis. “O fenômeno Lattes,” Folha da Manhã March 20, 1948.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fernando de Azevedo, ed., História das Ciências no Brasil (São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1955), 2 vol.; Simon Schwartzman, A Space for Science: The Development of the Scientific Community in Brazil (University Park: The Pennylvania State University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Joaquim da Costa Ribeiro, “A física no Brasil”, in de Azevedo (ref. 2), 163–202.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shozo Motoyama, “A física no Brasil”, in M. G. Ferri e S. Motoyama História das ciências no Brasil (São Paulo: Edusp/EPU, 1979), 61–91.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Antonio Augusto Passos Videira, Henrique Morize e o ideal de ciência pura no Brasil na República Velha (Rio de Janeiro: Editora FGV, 2003).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bernhard Gross, “Lembranças de um físico no Rio de Janeiro (1933–1947),” Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física 22 (2000), 266–271. Available at http://www.sbfisica.org.br/rbef/pdf/v22_266.pdf.
  7. 7.
    Sergio Mascarenhas, “Bernhard Gross and his Contribution to Physics in Brazil,” Brazilian Journal of Physics 29 (1999), 217–219. Available at http://www.scielo.br/pdf/bjp/v29n2/V29_217.pdf.
  8. 8.
    Antonio Augusto Passos Videira and Martha Cecília Bustamante, “Gleb Wataghin en la Universidade de São Paulo: un momento culminante de la ciencia brasileña,” Quipu 10(3) (1993), 263–284.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade and José Leandro Rocha Cardoso, “Aconteceu, virou manchete,” Revista Brasileira de História 21 (2001), 243–264.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    José Leite Lopes, “Guido Beck in Rio de Janeiro,” Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 67 (1995), 101–139.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    José Leite Lopes, “Joaquim Gomes de Souza,” in Ciência e Sociedade (1989). Available at http://cbpfindex.cbpf.br/publication_pdfs/Cs00589.2010_09_06_12_48_34.pdf.
  12. 12.
    Jean Eisenstaedt and Júlio C. Fabris, “Amoroso Costa e o primeiro livro brasileiro sobre a Relatividade Geral,” Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 26 (2004), 185–192. Available at http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbef/v26n2/a14v26n2.pdf.
  13. 13.
    Nelson Studart, Rogério C.T. da Costa, and Ildeu de Castro Moreira, “Theodoro Ramos e os primórdios da Física Moderna no Brasil,” Física na Escola. 5 (2004), 34–36. Available at http://www.sbfisica.org.br/fne/Vol5/Num2/v5n1a10.pdf.
  14. 14.
    Martha Cecília Bustamante and Antonio Augusto Passos, “Bernhard Gross y la física de los rayos cósmicos en el Brasil, “ Quipu 8 (1991), 325–347.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Micheline Nussenzveig, Fernando de Souza-Barros and Cássio Leite Vieira, “Modéstia, ciência e sabedoria (interview with Cesar Lattes),” Ciência Hoje 19 (1995), 11.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 11.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    C. M. G. Lattes, M. Schönberg and W. Schützer, “Classical Theory of Charged Point-Particles with Dipole Moments,” Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 3(19) (1945), 193–245; C. M. G. Lattes and G. Wataghin, “Estatística de partículas e núcleons e sua relação com o problema de abundância dos elementos e seus isótopos,” Physics Repport USP 4(17) (1945), 269–269; “On the Abundance of Nuclei in the Universe,” Physical Review 69 (1946), 237–237.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Leonardo Gariboldi, “Giuseppe Paolo Stanislao Occhialini (1907–1993)—A Cosmic Ray Hunter from Earth.” PhD diss,, Università degli Studi di Milano, 2004.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros, and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 13.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cristina Olivotto, “The Mediterranean Flights and the G-Stack Collaboration (1952–1955): a first example of European collaboration in particle physics,” M. Kokowski, ed., in Proceedings of the 2nd ICESHS (Cracow: ICESHS, 2006), 490–496.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Martha Cecilia Bustamante, “Giuseppe Occhialini and the History of Cosmic-Ray Physics in the 1930s: From Florence to Cambridge,” in P. Redondi, G. Sironi, P. Tucci and G. Vegni, ed., The scientific legacy of Beppo Occhialini (Berlin: Springer, 2006), 35–49.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros, and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 13.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Curriculum Vitae of Cesar Lattes. Original at Arquivo Central do Sistema de Arquivos, State University of Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cássio Leite Vieira, “Um mundo inteiramente novo se revelou: a técnica das emulsões nucleares.” PhD diss, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 2009. Available at cienciahoje.uol.com.br/blogues/bussola/arquivos/Livro_tese_cassio…/file; Silke Engler, “Zur Geschichte der fotografischen Methode im Kalten Krieg,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the German Physical Society, Christian Forstner and Dieter Hoffmann, eds (forthcoming). We thank Dr. Engler for sending us her work before its publication.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    T. H. James, “Why Photography Wasn’t Invented Earlier,” in E. Ostroff, ed., Pioneers of PhotographyTheir Achievements in Science and Technology (Springfield, VA: SPSE, 1987), 12-17.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ostroff, Pioneers of Photography (ref. 25); Reese Jenkins, “Some interrelations of Science, Technology, and the Photographic Industry in the Nineteenth Century.” PhD diss, University of Wisconsin, 1966; Helmut Gernsheim and Alison Gernsheim, History of Photography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    T. H. James, “The Search to Understand Latent Image Formation,” in Ostroff, Pioneers of Photography (ref. 25), 47–58; T. H. James, ed., Theory of the Photographic Process (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co, 1977).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Erwin Hiebert, “The State of Physics at the Turn of the Century,” in Mario Bunge and William L. Shea, eds., Rutherford and the Physics at the Turn of the Century (New York: Dawson and Science History Publications, 1979), 3–22.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vieira, “Um mundo inteiramente novo se revelou” (ref. 24).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    C. F. Powell, P. H. Fowler and D. H. Perkins, The Study of Elementary Particles by the Photographic Method: An Account of the Principal Techniques and Discoveries, Illustrated by an Atlas of Photomicrographs (London: Pergamon Press, 1959).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Thomas Schönfeld, “Aportación al método fotográfico en la física nuclear: resultados importantes de la investigación de Marietta Blau en Viena (1925–1938),” in Brigitte Strohmaier and Roberst Rosner, ed., Marietta Blauestrellas de desintegraciónbiografía de pionera de la física de partículas (México City: Instituto Politécnico, 2006), 171–201.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Vieira, “Um mundo inteiramente novo se revelou” (ref. 24), 99.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Victor Franz Hess, “Unsolved Problems in Physics: Tasks for the Immediate Future in Cosmic Ray Studies,” Speech by Austrian physicist Victor Franz Hess on receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936. Available at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1936/hess-lecture.html. Martha Cecilia Bustamante, “A descoberta dos raios cósmicos ou o problema da ionização do ar atmosférico,” Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 35(2) (2013), 603, available at http://www.sbfisica.org.br/rbef/pdf/352603.pdf.
  34. 34.
    Photographic Emulsion Panels of the Nuclear Physics Sub-Committee, held at Shell Mex House, London, on Friday 14th February, 1947, at 2:30 pm. Photographic Emulsion Panels of the Nuclear Physics Sub-Committee, held at Shell Mex House, London, on Tuesday, 16th September, 1947, at 3:00 pm. Photographic Emulsion Panels of the Nuclear Physics Sub-Committee, held at Shell Mex House, London, on Wednesday 23rd June, 1947, at 2:00 pm. Photographic Emulsion Panels of the Nuclear Physics Sub-Committee, Report on meeting of the photographic emulsion panel, held on 21st November, 1947 (report signed by J. Rotblat). Photographic Emulsion Panels of the Nuclear Physics Sub-Committee, Minutes of the meeting of the photographic emulsion panel (held at 7th May, 1948, at Liverpool University. The authors wish to thank Dr. L Gariboldi for copies of the above documents.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Don Perkins, “That Third Pion,” in CERN Courier, January 27, 2004, 5.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    C. M. G. Lattes, P. H. Folwer, and P. Cüer, “A Study of the Nuclear Transmutations of Light Elements by the Photographic Method,” Proceedings of the Physical Society of London, 59(5) (1947), 883–900.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    C. M. G. Lattes, “My Work in Meson Physics with Nuclear Emulsions,” in Laurie M. Brown and Lillian Hoddeson, ed., The Birth of Particle PhysicsBased on a Fermilab Symposium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 307–310.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Leonardo Gariboldi, “The Reconstruction of Giuseppe Occhialini’s Scientific Bibliography,” Atti del XXIII Congresso Nazionale di Storia della Fisica e dell’Astronomia, Bari, 5 a 7 giugno. Available at www.brera.unimi.it/SISFA/atti/2003/180-189GariboldiBAri.pdf.
  39. 39.
    G. P. S. Occhialini and C. F. Powell, “Multiple Disintegration Process Produced by Cosmic Rays,” Nature 159 (1947), 93–94.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    C. M. G. Lattes and G. P. S. Occhialini, “Determination of the Energy and Momentum of Fast Neutrons in Cosmic Rays,” Nature 159 (1947), 331–332.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    C. F. Powell, Fragments of Autobiography (Bristol: University of Bristol, 1987).Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Letter from Peter Fowler (Bristol) to N. McWhirter (London) dated September 2, 1990. Held at Fowler Papers, Bristol University Special Collections DM 1946/J.55. Reproduced from Gariboldi, Paolo Stanislao Occhialini (19071993), (ref. 18), 126–128.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    “Discovery of the Pion—1947,” in CERN Courier, June 1997, available at http://fafnir.phyast.pitt.edu/particles/pion.html.
  44. 44.
    Robert Marshak, Untitled (Interview in four sessions with Charles Weiner for the physics history project of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics), 1970. Available at http://www.aip.org/history/ohilist/4760_1.html.
  45. 45.
    Jennifer Tucker, “The Historian, the Picture, and the Archive,” Isis 97 (2006), 111–120.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    D. Perkins, “The Discovery of the Pion in Bristol in 1947,” in Ciência e Sociedade (1997), No. 32—Originally published in the Proceedings of the International School of Physics ‘Enrico Fermi’. Course CXXXVII (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 1997), 1–11. Available at http://cbpfindex.cbpf.br/publication_pdfs/CS03297.2010_08_20_16_29_46.pdf.
  47. 47.
    Perkins, “The Discovery of the Pion” (ref. 47).Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 14–15.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Strohmaier and Rosner, “Marietta Blau” (ref. 32).Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 15.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Cesar M. G. Lattes, Giuseppe P. S. Occhialini, Cecil F. Powell, “Observations on the Tracks of Slow Mesons in Photographic Emulsions—Part 1,” Nature 160 (1947a), 453–456, idem “Observations on the Tracks of Slow Mesons in Photographic Emulsions. Part 2—Origin of the Slow Mesons,” Nature 160 (1947b), 486–492.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Our guess is based on the presence of Hooper and Schaarff at Bohr’s institute, where they worked on a book with him on cosmic rays. See Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 15.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Ibid.. Lattes’s arrival is attested by the guest book of the Danish Physical Society.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Lattes, “My Work in Meson Physics with Nuclear Emulsions” (ref. 38).Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Nussenzveig, Souza-Barros and Vieira, “Interview with Cesar Lattes” (ref. 15), 17.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    José Leite Lopes, “Cinquenta e cinco Anos de Física no Brasil: Evocações,” CBPF-CS-016/98. Available at http://cbpfindex.cbpf.br/publication_pdfs/CS01698.2010_08_17_17_43_39.pdf.
  57. 57.
    Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade, Físicos, mésons e política: a dinâmica da ciência na sociedade (São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro: Hucitec/MAST, 1999).Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    John L. Heilbron, Robert W. Seidel, Bruce R. Wheaton, “Lawrence and His Laboratory—A Historian’s View of the Lawrence years” (Berkeley: LBNL,1981). Available at http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Research-Review/Magazine/1981/.
  59. 59.
    Lattes, “My Work in Meson Physics with Nuclear Emulsions” (ref. 38) and “War Hero” (obituary for Eugene Gardner), Time December 11, 1950. Berylliosis stiffens the lungs, making breathing difficult.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    New York Times, “Artificial Cosmic Rays”. March 11, 1948, 26.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
  62. 62.
    Also: http://www.aip.org/history/lawrence/cws.htm “Meanwhile Congress took nuclear research from military control and gave it to the civilian Atomic Energy Commission. Lawrence had lobbied the AEC to support the construction of even bigger accelerators, convincing them the results would be worth the huge expense. But the Berkeley team faced competition from a collection of scientists in the northeastern states. In 1947, they founded the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in New York and asked the AEC for their own accelerator. After several rounds of proposals and counter proposals, the AEC agreed to support new proton synchrotrons at both labs. Brookhaven would build quickly to reach 3 BeV (a BeV, now called a GeV, is a billion electric volts). Berkeley aimed to construct a 6 BeV machine with a 10,000 ton magnet, the “Bevatron.”
  63. 63.
    Letter from Cesar Lattes to José Leite Lopes. Lattes_CX01_File 01_10(1–2). AC/SIARQ/UNICAMP. We wish to thank archivist Telma Murari for the kindness she showed us in Campinas.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Peter L. Galison, Image and Logic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade, “Físicos, mésons e política” (ref. 58) and Carlos Alberto dos Santos, “O sincrocíclotron do CNPq: da concepção ao abandono”, Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física 35 (2013), 1607–1620. Available at http://www.sbfisica.org.br/rbef/pdf/351607.pdf.
  66. 66.
    Alfredo Marques de Oliveira, “Em memória de Cesar Lattes,” CBPF-CS-004/05. Available at http://cbpfindex.cbpf.br/publication_pdfs/cs00405.2010_08_11_13_04_39.pdf.
  67. 67.
    Cássio Leite Vieira and Antonio A.P. Videira, “O papel das emulsões nucleares na institucionalização da pesquisa em física experimental no Brasil,” Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 33 (2011), 2603–2607. Available at http://www.sbfisica.org.br/rbef/pdf/332603.pdf.
  68. 68.
    Statement given by Cesar Lattes to Maria de Lourdes Fávero and Ana Elisa Gerbasi da Silva (1990), Proedes Archives/UFRJ, unpublished. We thank Dr. Maria de Lourdes Fávero for assigning us a copy of this interview. See also the personal statement by Edison Shibuya to Antonio A. P. Videira, Campinas, May 12, 2012, and José Hamilton Ribeiro. “Cesar Lattes, Gênio ou Louco,” Brasil Século 21(3) (2012), 48–55.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Serge Korff, “High Altitude Laboratories,” Physics Today 2(11) (1950), 17–23.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade, “Os Raios Cósmicos entre a ciência e as relações internacionais”, in Ciência, Política e Relações Internacionais, Marcos Chor Maio, ed., (Rio de Janeiro: FIOCRUZ/Edições UNESCO, 2005), 215–242.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Letter from Guido Beck to José Leite Lopes. Leite Lopes, “Guido Beck in Rio de Janeiro” (ref. 10), 18. Also available at http://cbpfindex.cbpf.br/publication_pdfs/cs02497.2010_08_20_12_58_11.pdf.
  72. 72.
    Juan G. Roederer, “Early Cosmic Ray Research in Argentina,” Physics Today 65(1) (2003), 32–37.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Laboratório Brasileiro de Pesquisas Cósmicas nos Andes, Diário de Notícias (Rio de Janeiro), February 21, 1952, 1.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Fernando de Souza Barros, “O CBPF e o Laboratório de Chacaltaya”, in Amós Troper, Antonio A. P. Videira and Cássio L. Vieira, eds., Os 60 anos do CBPF e a Gênese do CNPq (Rio de Janeiro: CBPF, 2010), 165–180.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Milla Baldo-Ceolin “The Discreet Charm of the Nuclear Emulsion Era,” Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle 52, (2002), 1–21.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Olivotto, “The Mediterranean Flights” (ref. 20).Google Scholar
  77. 77.
  78. 78.
  79. 79.
    Personal statement given by Edison Shibuya to Antonio A. P. Videira in Campinas on May 22, 2012.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Cesar M. G. Lates, Yochi Fujimoto and Shun-iti Hasegawa, “Hadronic Interactions of High Energy Cosmic-Ray Observed by Emulsion Chambers,” Physics Reports 65 (1980), 151–229.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Giulio Bigazzi and Jorge C. Hadler Neto, “Cesar Lattes: a Pioneer of Fission Track Dating”, in Alfredo Marques, ed., Cesar Lattes 70 AnosA Nova Física Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro: Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, 1994), 124–150.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Alexei B. Kojevnikov, Stalin’s Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists (London: Imperial College Press, 2004), 300.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Concerning the choice of the best site to exposure the plates, Perkins many years later wrote: “I had asked [in 1946] G. P. [Thomson] about the possibility of very high mountain exposures, specifically at Chacaltaya in Bolivia. He told in no uncertain terms that he was not providing support for research students to go half way round the world. I should just get a map of Europe and find an alp!” Donald H. Perkins, “Some notes on the historical development of nuclear emulsions,” unpublished manuscript sent to one of us (CLV).Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Peter Galison and Bruce Hevly, eds., in Big ScienceThe Growth of Large-Scale Research (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    Statement given by Cesar Lattes to Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade in Ana Maria Ribeiro de Andrade and Érika Werneck, “Mésons, prótons, era uma vez acelerador” (DVD, Rio de Janeiro, MAST, 1996).Google Scholar
  86. 86.
    José Leite Lopes, “Cesar Lattes, O Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas e a Nova Física no Brasil,” in Alfredo Marques, ed., Cesar Lattes 70 AnosA Nova Física Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro: Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, 1994), 70–87, letter mentioned on page 79.Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Amélia I. Hamburger, “Cesar Lattes, físico brasileiro,” Revista USP 66 (2005), 132–138.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cássio Leite Vieira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Antonio Augusto Passos Videira
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Ciência HojeRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

Personalised recommendations