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Great names in physics at LMU Munich


boltzmann_01_m

Boltzmann


roentgen_01_m

Röntgen


wien_01_m

Wien


sommerfeld_01_m

Sommerfeld


laue_01_m

Laue


heisenberg_01_m

Heisenberg


binnig_01_m

Binnig


haensch_01

Hänsch

The Faculty of Physics is closely connected with the names of great physicists who have worked or are still working at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. In 1900, Wilhelm C. Röntgen took over the Chair for Experimental Physics and in 1901 received the first Nobel Prize in physics. Röntgen's successor was Wilhelm Wien (1911 Nobel Prize), whose name lives on in Wien's Displacement Law. The later Munich professor Walter Gerlach played a major role in the discovery of angular quantization of spin (Stern-Gerlach-Experiment).

Theoretical physics is just as high-caliber. Ludwig Boltzmann, professor in Munich in the late 19th century and an early proponent of atomic theory, established the core fundamentals of statistical thermodynamics (reformulation of entropy, the Boltzmann constant, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law). His successor, Arnold Sommerfeld, also took an especially distinguished place in the top tier of research and teaching (expansion of the Bohr atomic model). The "Sommerfeld School" was to shape Physics throughout the first half of the 20th century. Max von Laue (1914 Nobel Prize) and Werner Heisenberg (1932 Nobel Prize) were among his most prominent pupils and carried on his work in Munich.

The series of Munich Nobel laureates was resumed in 1986 by honorary professor Gerd Binnig. Recognized for his scanning tunnel microscope, today he works at an IBM research laboratory in Zurich. LMU Munich's laser and quantum optics expert, Theodor Hänsch received the Nobel Prize in 2005 for the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy. He also helped establish the fundamentals for laser cooling that led to a Nobel Prize in 1997.