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Physics

To Girls Taking Their First STEM Classes

If you’re a female-identifying teen and you attend high school, chances are good that you take, or will take, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class. Physics, biology, and chemistry are the usual suspects. We’re writing to share some collective wisdom with you from our own high-school experience.

Eileen Pollack

Discouraged from a promising career in science, Eileen Pollack published her 2015 memoir The Only Woman in the Room to unravel the many instances of sexism, large and small, which push women like her out of STEM fields.

Hertha Ayrton

The first woman proposed for membership in the Royal Society, Hertha Ayrton created inventions from tools architects used for enlarging and reducing drawings to fans that could clear poison gas from mine shafts.

Tikvah Alper

Radiobiologist Tikvah Alper, who spent a lifetime questioning accepted theories and the established order, discovered that diseases like scrapie and mad cow replicated without DNA.

Joan Feynman

Astrophysicist Joan Feynman shaped our understanding of solar winds, auroras, and sunspots, and her battle to open scientific bastions to women transformed the field for those who followed.

Vera Cooper Rubin

Far ahead of her time, Vera Cooper Rubin theorized that galaxies clustered and moved in ways that defied the Big Bang Theory, and helped prove the existence of dark matter.

Emmy Noether

Praised by many, including Albert Einstein, as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, Emmy Noether helped develop abstract algebra and crafted a theorem explaining the connection between symmetry and conservation laws in physics.

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman’s groundbreaking work in chemistry and physics led to major advancements for the designs of compounds ranging from pharmacological drugs to rocket fuel.

Hedwig Kohn

One of only three women physicists certified to teach at the university level before WWII, Hedwig Kohn did research on measuring the intensity of light which was still cited by physicists over a decade after her death.

Sulamith Goldhaber

Sulamith Löw Goldhaber’s pioneering work with particle accelerators put her at the forefront of a seismic shift in the research of particle physics.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Physics." (Viewed on November 17, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/physics>.

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