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Working on atomic spectra and applying group theory to crystals


Paul Peter Ewald
Hans Bethe Scientist
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Ewald had been a student in 1910 to '12, and was... had great friendship with Sommerfeld. He invited me to give a talk about my thesis at Stuttgart where he now was professor, and later on in the spring of '29 he in... asked me to be his assistant. But before that I went back to Frankfurt for one semester.

The late German-American physicist Hans Bethe once described himself as the H-bomb's midwife. He left Nazi Germany in 1933, after which he helped develop the first atomic bomb, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his contribution to the theory of nuclear reactions, advocated tighter controls over nuclear weapons and campaigned vigorously for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart University, Paul Ewald, Arnold Sommerfeld

Duration: 41 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008