Record

Authorised form of nameBethe; Hans Albrecht (1906 - 2005)
SurnameBethe
ForenamesHans Albrecht
Dates1906 - 2005
NationalityAmerican
Dates and placesBirth:
Strasbourg, Germany (02 July 1906)
Death:
Ithaca, New York (06 March 2005)
ActivityProfession:
Theoretical Physicist, played a vital role in the Manhattan Project - the development of the atom bomb at Los Alamos; winner of Nobel Prize for Physics for his "carbon cycle" formula, which explains how the sun generates its energy
Education:
Goethe Gymnasium, Frankfurt-am-Main (1915-1924); read Physics at Frankfurt University; doctorate in theoretical physics at Munich University (1926-1928), used quantum mechanics in his work on electron diffraction and refraction in crystals
Career:
Lecturer, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich universities (1928-1929); Rockefeller International Fellowship - worked with Sir Ernest Rutherford (Cambridge) and Enrico Fermi (Rome); Assistant Professor,Tubingen University (1932-1933) but lost his job as his mother was Jewish; supported by Academic Assistance Council (Society for the Protection of Science and Learning), worked at Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge with R H Fowler; visiting lectureship, University of Manchester (1933-1934); fellowship at Bristol University (1934-1935); Assistant Professor of Theoretical Physics, Cornell University (1935-1937), Professor (1937-1975), Professor Emeritus; awarded Morrison Prize by New York Academy of Sciences (1938 and 1940); worked on microwave radar, Radiation Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1942); Head of Theoretical Physics Division, Los Alamos Atomic Scientific Laboratory (Manhattan Project) (1943-1946); consultant, Atomic Energy Commission (1945-1964); part of nine man Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists led by Albert Einstein who saught to educate the public about atomic energy (1946); invited to return to Los Alamos (1949) to develop hydrogen bomb but declined to be involved; member of US Presidential science advisory committee (1956-1959); John Wendell Anderson Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Cornell University.
Awarded US Presidential Medal of Merit (1946), Max Planck Medal (1955), Enrico Fermi Award (1961), US National Academy of Sciences' Vannevar Bush Award (1985), Einstein Peace Prize (1993)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Foreign Member
Election Date:
9/05/1957
Medals/Prizes:
Nobel Prize (Physics) 1967, for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars.
Lectures:
Bakerian 1993
RelationshipsSon of Albrecht Bethe, professor of physiology; married (1939) Rose Ewald daughter of P P Ewald FRS.
SourcesSources:
Obituaries:
in Telegraph, Times, Guardian (08 March 2005), Independent (09 March 2005)
Biographical Memoir by Sabine Lee and Gerry E Brown in Volume 53 (2007) pp 1-20

References:
David Thouless, 'Two Pioneers of Modern Theoretical Physics', review of H A Bethe, Selected Works of Hans A Bethe, With Commentary and R H Dalitz and Sir Rudolf Peierls, Selected Scientific Papers of Sir Rudolf Peierls, With Commentary in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 282-288
Royal Society codeNA4303
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1957/26Bethe, Hans Albrecht: certificate of election to the Royal Society
RR/52/51Referee's report by Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, on a paper 'On the annihilation radiation of positrons' by Hans Albrecht BetheJanuary 1935
RR/52/50Referee's report by Ralph Howard Fowler, on a paper 'The scattering of neutrons by protons' by Hans Albrecht Bethe and R PeierlsNovember 1934
RR/52/49Referee's report by Charles Galton Darwin, on a paper 'Quantum theory of the diplon' by Hans Albrecht Bethe and R PeierlsAugust 1934
RR/52/48Referee's report by Ralph Howard Fowler, on a paper 'On the stopping of fast particles and on the creation of positive electrons' by Hans Albrecht Bethe and W HeitlerMarch 1934
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