Johannes Stark

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Johannes Stark
Johannes Stark.jpg
Born(1874-04-15)15 April 1874
Died21 June 1957(1957-06-21) (aged 83)
Nationality Germany
Alma mater University of Munich
Known for Stark effect
Awards Matteucci Medal (1915)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1919)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Göttingen
Technische Hochschule, Hannover
Technische Hochschule, Aachen
University of Greifswald
University of Würzburg
Doctoral advisor Eugen von Lommel

Johannes Stark (German pronunciation: [joˈhanəs ʃtaʁk] , 15 April 1874 – 21 June 1957) was a German physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1919 "for his discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields". This phenomenon is known as the Stark effect.

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Nobel Prize in Physics One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for humankind in the field of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Stark effect optical phenomenon in physics

The Stark effect is the shifting and splitting of spectral lines of atoms and molecules due to the presence of an external electric field. It is the electric-field analogue of the Zeeman effect, where a spectral line is split into several components due to the presence of the magnetic field. Although initially coined for the static case, it is also used in the wider context to describe effect of time-dependent electric fields. In particular, the Stark effect is responsible for the pressure broadening of spectral lines by charged particles in plasmas. For majority of spectral lines, the Stark effect is either linear or quadratic with a high accuracy.

Contents

Stark received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Munich in 1897 under the supervision of Eugen von Lommel, and served as Lommel's assistant until his appointment as a lecturer at the University of Göttingen in 1900. He was an extraordinary professor at the University of Hannover from 1906 until he became a professor at RWTH Aachen University in 1909. In 1917, he became professor at the University of Greifswald, and he also worked at the University of Würzburg from 1920 to 1922.

Eugen von Lommel German physicist

Eugen Cornelius Joseph von Lommel was a German physicist. He is notable for the Lommel polynomial, the Lommel function, the Lommel–Weber function, and the Lommel differential equation. He is also notable as the doctoral advisor of the Nobel Prize winner Johannes Stark.

University of Göttingen university in the city of Göttingen, Germany

The University of Göttingen is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,500.

RWTH Aachen University university in Aachen, Germany

RWTH Aachen University or Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With more than 42,000 students enrolled in 144 study programs, it is the largest technical university in Germany.

A supporter of Adolf Hitler from 1924, Stark was one of the main figures, along with fellow Nobel laureate Philipp Lenard, in the anti-Semitic Deutsche Physik movement, which sought to remove Jewish scientists from German physics. He was appointed head of the German Research Foundation in 1933 and was president of the Reich Physical-Technical Institute from 1933 to 1939. In 1947, he was found guilty as a "Major Offender" by a denazification court.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Philipp Lenard German physicist

Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard was a German physicist and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 for his research on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties. Lenard was a nationalist and anti-Semite; as an active proponent of the Nazi ideology, he supported Adolf Hitler in the 1920s and was an important role model for the "Deutsche Physik" movement during the Nazi period. Notably, he labeled Albert Einstein's contributions to science as "Jewish physics".

Deutsche Physik or Aryan Physics was a nationalist movement in the German physics community in the early 1930s. A pseudoscientific movement, it nonetheless won the support of many eminent physicists in Germany. The term was taken from the title of a 4-volume physics textbook by Nobel Laureate Philipp Lenard in the 1930s.

Biography

Early years

Born in Schickenhof, Kingdom of Bavaria (now Freihung), Stark was educated at the Bayreuth Gymnasium (secondary school) and later in Regensburg. His collegiate education began at the University of Munich, where he studied physics, mathematics, chemistry, and crystallography. His tenure at that college began in 1894; he graduated in 1897, with his doctoral dissertation titled Untersuchung über einige physikalische, vorzüglich optische Eigenschaften des Rußes (Investigation of some physical, in particular optical properties of soot). [1]

Freihung Place in Bavaria, Germany

Freihung is a municipality in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach in Bavaria in Germany. .

Kingdom of Bavaria kingdom in Central Europe between 1806–1918, from January 1871 part of the German Empire

The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1805 as Maximilian I Joseph. The crown would go on being held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom came to an end in 1918. Most of Bavaria's present-day borders were established after 1814 with the Treaty of Paris, in which Bavaria ceded Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Austrian Empire while receiving Aschaffenburg and Würzburg. With the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, the kingdom became a federal state of the new Empire and was second in size, power, and wealth only to the leading state, the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1918, Bavaria became a republic, and the kingdom was thus succeeded by the current Free State of Bavaria.

Regensburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Regensburg is a city in south-east Germany, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. The city is the political, economic and cultural centre and capital of the Upper Palatinate.

Career

Stark worked in various positions at the Physics Institute of his alma mater until 1900, when he became an unsalaried lecturer at the University of Göttingen. An extraordinary professor at Hanover by 1906, in 1908 he became professor at the RWTH Aachen University. He worked and researched at physics departments of several universities, including the University of Greifswald, until 1922. In 1919, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields" (the latter is known as the Stark effect). From 1933 until his retirement in 1939, Stark was elected President of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt, while also President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Alma mater school or university that a person has attended

Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one formerly attended. In US usage it can also mean the school from which one graduated. The phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will often depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor.

Lecture oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject

A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. Lectures are used to convey critical information, history, background, theories, and equations. A politician's speech, a minister's sermon, or even a businessman's sales presentation may be similar in form to a lecture. Usually the lecturer will stand at the front of the room and recite information relevant to the lecture's content.

University of Hanover public university located in Hannover, Germany

The University of Hanover, officially the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, short Leibniz University Hannover, is a public university located in Hannover, Germany. Founded on May 2, 1831, it is one of the largest and oldest science and technology universities in Germany. In the 2014/15 school year it enrolled 25,688 students, of which 2,121 were from foreign countries. It has nine faculties which offer 190 full and part degree programs in 38 fields of study. The University is named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the 18th century mathematician and philosopher.

It was Stark who, as the editor of Jahrbuch der Radioaktivität und Elektronik, asked in 1907, then still rather unknown, Albert Einstein to write a review article on the principle of relativity. Stark seemed impressed by relativity and Einstein's earlier work when he quoted "the principle of relativity formulated by H. A. Lorentz and A. Einstein" and "Planck's relationship M0 = E0/c2" in his 1907 paper [2] in Physikalische Zeitschrift, where he used the equation e0 = m0c2 to calculate an "elementary quantum of energy", i.e. the amount of energy related to the mass of an electron at rest. While working on his article, [3] Einstein began a line of thought that would eventually lead to his generalized theory of relativity, which in turn became (after its confirmation) the start of Einstein's worldwide fame. This is ironic, given Stark's later work as an anti-Einstein and anti-relativity propagandist in the Deutsche Physik movement. [4]

Albert Einstein German-born physicist and developer of the theory of relativity

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

Principle of relativity physics principle stating that the laws of physics must be the same in all reference frames

In physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference.

Physikalische Zeitschrift was a German scientific journal of physics published from 1899 to 1945 by S. Hirzel Verlag. Several publications of great historical significance have been published in it, such as Albert Einstein's "Über die Entwicklung unserer Anschauungen über das Wesen und die Konstitution der Strahlung" andCarl von Weizsäcker's work on the source of energy in stars. During its life, it was edited by several prominent physicists, such as Peter Debye.

Stark published more than 300 papers, mainly regarding electricity and other such topics. He received various awards, including the Nobel Prize, the Baumgartner Prize of the Vienna Academy of Sciences (1910), the Vahlbruch Prize of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences (1914), and the Matteucci Medal of the Rome Academy. Probably his best known contribution to the field of physics is the Stark effect, which he discovered in 1913.

He married Luise Uepler, and they had five children. His hobbies were the cultivation of fruit trees and forestry. He worked in his private laboratory on his country estate in Upper Bavaria after the war. There he studied the deflection of light in an electric field. [5]

Affiliation with National Socialism

From 1924 onwards, Stark supported Hitler. [6] During the Nazi regime, Stark attempted to become the Führer of German physics through the Deutsche Physik ("German physics") movement (along with fellow Nobel laureate Philipp Lenard) against the "Jewish physics" of Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg (who was not Jewish). After Werner Heisenberg defended Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, Stark wrote an angry article in the SS newspaper Das Schwarze Korps , calling Heisenberg a "White Jew". [6]

On August 21, 1934, Stark wrote to physicist and fellow Nobel laureate Max von Laue to toe the party line or else. The letter was signed off with "Heil Hitler." [7]

In his 1934 book Nationalsozialismus und Wissenschaft (English: "National Socialism and Science") Stark maintained that the priority of the scientist was to serve the nation—thus, the important fields of research were those that could help German arms production and industry. He attacked theoretical physics as "Jewish" and stressed that scientific positions in Nazi Germany should only be held by pure-blooded Germans.

Writing in the official SS magazine Das Schwarze Korps , Stark argued that even if racial antisemitism was triumphant, it would only be a 'partial victory' if 'Jewish' ideas were not similarly defeated: "‘we also have to eradicate the Jewish spirit, whose blood can flow just as undisturbed today as before if its carriers hold beautiful Aryan passes". [8]

In 1947, following the defeat of Germany in World War II, Stark was classified as a "Major Offender" and received a sentence of four years' imprisonment (later suspended) by a denazification court.

Publications

Notes

  1. Entry in the catalogue of the Bavarian State Library, MunIch. Opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de. Retrieved on 2012-07-27.
  2. Stark, J. (1907). "Elementarquantum der Energie, Modell der negativen und der positiven Elekrizitat". Physikalische Zeitschrift. 24 (8): 881.
  3. Einstein, A. (1907). "Ueber das Relativitatprinzip und die aus demselb gezogenen Folgerungen". Jahrbuch der Radioaktivität und Elektronik. IV: 411. Translated in Schwartz, H. M. (1977) Einstein's comprehensive 1907 essay on relativity, parts I, II, III Archived 2013-03-15 at the Wayback Machine , American Journal of Physics, June, September and October, 1977.
  4. Norton, John D. "Einstein and Nordström: Some Lesser-Known Thought Experiments in Gravitation", John Earman, Michel Janssen, John D. Norton (eds.), Birkhäuser, 1993, pp. 3–29 (p. 6). ISBN   0-8176-3624-2
  5. Johannes Stark – Biography. Nobelprize.org. Retrieved on 2012-07-27.
  6. 1 2 Ball, Philip (2014). Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler. The University of Chicago Press.
  7. Reisman, Arnold (2006) Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Ataturk's Vision Archived 2007-01-03 at the Wayback Machine . ISBN   978-0-9777908-8-3
  8. Stone, Dan. "Nazi Race Ideologues." Patterns of Prejudice 50.4-5 (2016), p.452

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