Mossbauer, Rudolf (ON HOLD)


Card signed by the German physicist, 1961 Nobel laureate for discovery of “the Mossbauer effect”


Autograph ID: 6503
Condition: Very Good
Description: “(1929-2011) German physicist best known for his 1957 discovery of recoilless nuclear resonance fluorescence for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics. This effect, “the Mossbauer effect”, is the basis for Mossbauer spectroscopy. Munich-born, he studied physics at the Technical University of Munich (the TUM) and prepared his Diplom thesis in the Laboratory of Applied Physics of Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, graduating in 1955. He then went to the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg but remained under the auspices of Maier-Leibnitz, his official thesis advisor when he passed his PhD exam in Munich in 1958. In his PhD work, he discovered “recoilless nuclear fluorescence of gamma rays in 191 iridium”, the Mossbauer effect. His fame grew immensely in 1960 when Robert Pound and Glen Rebka used this effect to prove the red shift of gamma radiation in the gravitational field of the Earth, one of the first experimental precision tests of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The long-term importance of the Mössbauer effect, however, is its use in Mossbauer spectroscopy. With Robert Hofstader, Mössbauer was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics. On the suggestion of Richard Feynman, he was invited in 1960 to Caltech, appointed a full professor of physics in early 1962. In 1964, his alma mater, the TUM, convinced him to return as a full professor becoming professor emeritus in 1997. As a condition for his return, the TUM physics faculty introduced a “department” system, influenced by Mössbauer’s American experience, in radical contrast to the traditional, hierarchical system of German universities, giving the TUM an eminent position in German physics. In 1972, he went to Grenoble succeeding Maier-Leibnitz as Director of the Institute Laue-Langevin just when its newly built high-flux research reactor went into operation. After 5 years, Mössbauer returned to Munich, where he found his institutional reforms reversed by overarching legislation. Until the end of his career, he often expressed bitterness over this “destruction of the department.” Meanwhile, his research interests shifted to neutrino physics.
4 x 6 white card signed in dark marker pen.”
Type: Signed Card

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