Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1967

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Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1967's Geni Profile

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Hans Albrecht Bethe

Birthdate: (98)
Birthplace: Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
Death: March 6, 2005 (98)
Ithaca, Tompkins, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Albrecht Julius Theodor Bethe and Anna Kuhn
Husband of Rose Susan Bethe
Father of Henry Bethe and <private> Bethe
Half brother of <private> Bethe and <private> Bethe

Occupation: theoretical physicist, professor of physics
Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1967

Hans Albrecht Bethe (July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005) was a German-American nuclear physicist. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1967 was awarded to Hans Bethe "for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars". A versatile theoretical physicist, Bethe also made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics and astrophysics. During World War II, he was head of the Theoretical Division at the secret Los Alamos laboratory which developed the first atomic bombs. There he played a key role in calculating the critical mass of the weapons, and did theoretical work on the implosion method used in both the Trinity test and the "Fat Man" weapon dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. For most of his career, Bethe was a professor at Cornell University.

During the early 1950s, Bethe also played an important role in the development of the larger hydrogen bomb, though he had originally joined the project with the hope of proving it could not be made. Bethe later campaigned together with Albert Einstein in the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists against nuclear testing and the nuclear arms race. He influenced the White House to sign the ban of atmospheric nuclear tests in 1963 and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, SALT I. His scientific research never ceased even into the later years of his life and he was publishing papers well into his nineties. He is one of the few scientists who can claim a major paper in his field every decade of his career, which spanned nearly 70 years. Freeman Dyson called Bethe the "supreme problem solver of the 20th century."

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Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1967's Timeline

July 2, 1906
Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
February 20, 1944
Age 37
Los Alamos, Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States
March 6, 2005
Age 98
Ithaca, Tompkins, New York, United States