Northern Ireland

John Bell: Belfast street to be named after physicist

John Stewart Bell Image copyright Queens University Belfast
Image caption John Stewart Bell died in 1990 before he could be awarded the Nobel Prize

Belfast City Council is to name a street after John Stewart Bell, one of Northern Ireland's most eminent scientists.

However, his full name will not be used, as the council has "traditionally avoided using the names of people" when deciding on street names.

Instead, the street in the city's Titanic Quarter will be called Bell's Theorem Way or Bell's Theorem Crescent.

Dr Bell is regarded as one of the 20th Century's greatest physicists.

Quantum mechanics

The council originally received an application from Titanic Quarter Ltd in September to name a street John Bell Crescent.

Councillors rejected the proposal due to concerns about naming streets in the city after individuals.

However, the council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee has now agreed to name a street next to Belfast Metropolitan College after his most famous work.

That decision is set to be approved at the next full council meeting.

Bell's Theorem, more formally known as On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, demonstrated that Einstein's views on quantum mechanics - the behaviour of very small things like atoms and subatomic particles - were incorrect.

His theory continues to have a lasting impact on modern physics, and is said to have laid the foundation for quantum information technology.

Dr Bell was born in Belfast in 1928 and rose to become one of the world's greatest quantum physicists.

Towards the end of his life, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize, but died in 1990 before he could be awarded the honour, which is never awarded posthumously.

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