Emmy Noether

March 23, 1882 - April 14, 1935

Facts

Birthplace: Erlangen, Germany

Education: earned a Ph. D in Mathematics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (1904–1907) and joined the mathematics department at the University of Göttingen (1903–1904)

Major Contribution to Physics

Noether proved two theorems on general relativity and elementary particle physics. Her theory linking symmetry and conservation (Noether’s Theorem) proved to be one of the most important contributions to modern physics.

Noether Theorem

She is known in the physics world for her famous Noether Theorem, because of its impact on theoretical physics. It states that you can get conserved quantities from the symmetries of the laws of nature. For example, space translation symmetry results in the conservation of momentum and time translation symmetry results in the conservation of energy. Applying this theorem allows physicists to gain insight into any general type of theories. Both of her theories reveal the deep connection between conservation laws and symmetries.

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