Impact of the Discoveries
The Solvay Conference took place in October 1927 in the Metropol hotel in Brussels. This was the fifth in a series of conferences which the Belgian chemist and industrialist Ernest Solvay had initiated and financed in 1911 at the instigation of Walter Nernst of Berlin. Following his successes as head of a chemical firm, Solvay made a hobby of devising theories of gravitation and electricity and wanted to steer the attention of professionals to his theories. Nernst suggested he convene a conference of important physicists who could discuss current problems of physics. Thus, this series of conferences came into being in which only about 25 scientists of rank and renown were invited to participate. At the conferences in 1921 and 1924, resentment following the war was still so great that no German scientists could take part. In October 1927, the chosen topic was electrons and photons, and the conference was to deal with the development of quantum theory. In this area, the most important advances had been made in Germany, Denmark and Switzerland, so this time Einstein, Born, Heisenberg, Bohr and Schrödinger were also invited.