The physicist Friedrich Houtermans (1903-1966) was an essential promoter and proponent of the development of physics in Berne. He introduced a number of activities in the field of elementary particles, with a special focus on the physics of cosmic rays, and important contributions in applied physics.
This biography of Houtermans was written by Edoardo Amaldi and was almost finished just before his unexpected death in 1989. The editors have only corrected typographical errors and have introduced only minimal text changes in order to preserve the original content. Additionally they have collected and included unpublished pictures and memories from Houtermans’ students and collaborators. The text is the result of a thorough and intensive study on Houtermans’ life and character carried out by Edoardo Amaldi. It is more than a biography, since the figure of Houtermans is set in a historical perspective of Europe between the two world wars. This book will be of great interest to historians and historians of science.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Preamble.- Friedrich’s birth and family background.- His youth in Vienna.- Student in Göttingen.- Assistant in Berlin.- Fritz’s first marriage.- Life in Berlin.- Emigration to U.K. and U.S.S.R.- Professor in Kharkov.-The beginning of the great trials.- The years of prison.- An overview of the situation in central Europe.- More about Fritz and Konstantin.- A few other physicists’ political troubles.- Finally out of prison!.- Shaken by worldwide storms. Fritz’s second family.- An outline of the early development of applied nuclear energy in Germany.- From Berlin to Ronneburg.- In Göttingen again.- Houtermans’ third family.- Fritz’s fourth family. His departure.- Houtermans’ scientific work and influence in Bern.- Why we remember him.- List of Publications by F. G. Houtermans.- Bibliography.