James Franck

James Franck (26 August 1882 – 21 May 1964) was a German physicist who won the 1925 Nobel Prize for Physics with Gustav Hertz "for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom".[1] He completed his doctorate in 1906 and his habilitation in 1911 at the Frederick William University in Berlin, where he lectured and taught until 1918, having reached the position of professor extraordinarius. He served as a volunteer in the German Army during World War I. He was seriously injured in 1917 in a gas attack and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class.

Franck became the Head of the Physics Division of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft for Physical Chemistry. In 1920, Franck became professor ordinarius of experimental physics and Director of the Second Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Göttingen. While there he worked on quantum physics with Max Born, who was Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics. His work included the Franck–Hertz experiment, an important confirmation of the Bohr model of the atom. He promoted the careers of women in physics, notably Lise Meitner, Hertha Sponer and Hilde Levi.

After the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933, Franck resigned his post in protest against the dismissal of fellow academics. He assisted Frederick Lindemann in helping dismissed Jewish scientists find work overseas, before he left Germany in November 1933. After a year at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, he moved to the United States, where he worked at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and then the University of Chicago. During this period he became interested in photosynthesis.

Franck participated in the Manhattan Project during World War II as Director of the Chemistry Division of the Metallurgical Laboratory. He was also the chairman of the Committee on Political and Social Problems regarding the atomic bomb, which is best known for the compilation of the Franck Report, which recommended that the atomic bombs not be used on the Japanese cities without warning.

James Franck
James Franck 1925
Born26 August 1882
Died21 May 1964 (aged 81)
United States
Alma materUniversity of Heidelberg
University of Berlin
Known forFranck–Condon principle
Franck–Hertz experiment
Franck Report
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Berlin
University of Göttingen
Johns Hopkins University
University of Chicago
Metallurgical Laboratory
ThesisÜber die Beweglichkeit der Ladungsträger der Spitzenentladung (1906)
Doctoral advisorEmil Gabriel Warburg
Doctoral studentsWilhelm Hanle
Arthur R. von Hippel
Theodore Puck

Early life

James Franck was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 26 August 1882, the second child and first son of Jacob Franck, a banker, and his wife Rebecca née Nachum Drucker.[2] He had an older sister, Paula, and a younger brother, Robert Bernard.[3] His father was a devout and religious man, while his mother came from a family of rabbis.[2] Franck attended primary school in Hamburg. Starting in 1891 he attended the Wilhelm-Gymnasium, which was then a boys-only school.[3]

Hamburg had no university then, so prospective students had to attend one of the 22 universities elsewhere in Germany. Intending to study law and economics, Franck entered the University of Heidelberg in 1901, as it had a renowned law school.[4] He attended lectures on law, but was far more interested in those on science. While there, he met Max Born, who would become a lifelong friend. With Born's help, he was able to persuade his parents to allow him to switch to studying physics and chemistry.[5] Franck attended mathematics lectures by Leo Königsberger and Georg Cantor, but Heidelberg was not strong on the physical sciences, so he decided to go to the Frederick William University in Berlin.[4]

At Berlin, Franck attended lectures by Max Planck and Emil Warburg.[6] On 28 July 1904 he saved a pair of children from drowning in the Spree River.[6] For his Doctor of Philosophy (Dir. Phil.) under Warburg's supervision,[7] Warburg suggested that he study corona discharges. Franck found this topic too complex, so he changed the focus of his thesis.[8] Entitled Über der Beweglichkeit Ladungsträger der Spitzenentladung ("On the Mobility of Ions"),[9] it would subsequently be published in the Annalen der Physik.[10]

With his thesis completed, Franck had to perform his deferred military service. He was called up on 1 October 1906 and joined the 1st Telegraph Battalion. He suffered a minor horse riding accident in December and was discharged as unfit for duty. He took up an assistantship at the Physikalische Verein in Frankfurt in 1907, but did not enjoy it, and soon returned to Frederick William University.[11] At a concert Franck met Ingrid Josephson, a Swedish pianist. They were married in a Swedish ceremony in Gothenburg on 23 December 1907. They had two daughters, Dagmar (Daggie), who was born in 1909, and Elisabeth (Lisa), who was born in 1912.[12]

To pursue an academic career in Germany, having a doctorate was not enough; one needed a venia legendi, or habilitation. This could be achieved with either another major thesis or by producing a substantial body of published work. Franck chose the latter route. There were many unsolved problems in physics at the time, and by 1914 he had published 34 articles. He was the sole author of some, but generally preferred working in collaboration with Eva von Bahr, Lise Meitner, Robert Pohl, Peter Pringsheim, Robert W. Wood, Arthur Wehnelt or Wilhelm Westphal. His most fruitful collaboration was with Gustav Hertz, with whom he wrote 19 articles. He received his habilitation on 20 May 1911.[13]

Franck–Hertz experiment

Franck-Hertz en
Anode current (arbitrary units) versus grid voltage (relative to the cathode). This graph is based on the original 1914 paper by Franck and Hertz.

In 1914, Franck teamed up with Hertz to perform an experiment to investigate fluorescence. They designed a vacuum tube for studying energetic electrons that flew through a thin vapour of mercury atoms. They discovered that when an electron collided with a mercury atom it could lose only a specific quantity (4.9 electron volts) of its kinetic energy before flying away. A faster electron does not decelerate completely after a collision, but loses precisely the same amount of its kinetic energy. Slower electrons just bounce off mercury atoms without losing any significant speed or kinetic energy.[14][15]

These experimental results provided confirmation of Albert Einstein's photoelectric effect and Planck's relation (E = fh) linking energy (E) and frequency (f) arising from quantisation of energy with Planck's constant (h). But they also provided evidence supporting the model of the atom that had been proposed the previous year by Niels Bohr. Its key feature was that an electron inside an atom occupies one of the atom's "quantum energy levels". Before a collision, an electron inside the mercury atom occupies its lowest available energy level. After the collision, the electron inside occupies a higher energy level with 4.9 electron volts (eV) more energy. This means that the electron is more loosely bound to the mercury atom. There were no intermediate levels or possibilities.[14][16]

In a second paper presented in May 1914, Franck and Hertz reported on the light emission by the mercury atoms that had absorbed energy from collisions. They showed that the wavelength of this ultraviolet light corresponded exactly to the 4.9 eV of energy that the flying electron had lost. The relationship of energy and wavelength had also been predicted by Bohr.[14][17] Franck and Hertz completed their last paper together in December 1918. In it, they reconciled the discrepancies between their results and Bohr's theory, which they now acknowledged.[18][19] In his Nobel lecture, Franck admitted that it was "completely incomprehensible that we had failed to recognise the fundamental significance of Bohr's theory, so much so, that we never even mentioned it once".[20] On 10 December 1926, Franck and Hertz were awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom.".[1]

World War I

Franck enlisted in the German Army soon after the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. In December he was sent to the Picardy sector of the Western Front. He became a deputy officer (offizierstellvertreter), and then a lieutenant (leutnant) in 1915.[21] In early 1915 he was transferred to Fritz Haber's new unit that would introduce clouds of chlorine gas as a weapon.[22] With Otto Hahn he was responsible for locating sites for the attacks. He was awarded the Iron Cross, Second Class, on 30 March 1915,[23] and the city of Hamburg awarded him the Hanseatic Cross on 11 January 1916.[23] While in hospital with pleurisy, he co-wrote yet another scientific paper with Hertz, and he was appointed an assistant professor in his absence by Frederick William University on 19 September 1916. Sent to the Russian front, he came down with dysentery. He returned to Berlin, where he joined Hertz, Westphal, Hans Geiger, Otto Hahn and others at Haber's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, working on the development of gas masks.[21] He was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, on 23 February 1918. He was discharged from the Army on 25 November 1918, soon after the war ended.[23]

With the war over, Haber's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute now returned to research, and Haber offered Franck a job. His new post came with more pay, but was not a tenured position. It did however allow Franck to pursue his research as he wished. Working with new, younger collaborators such as Walter Grotrian, Paul Knipping, Thea Krüger, Fritz Reiche and Hertha Sponer, his first papers at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute examined atomic electrons in their excited state, results that would later prove important in the development of the laser.[24] They coined the term "metastable" for atoms spending an extended time in a state other than that of least energy.[25] When Niels Bohr visited Berlin in 1920, Meitner and Franck arranged for him to come to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute to talk with the younger staff without the presence of the bonzen ("bigwigs").[26]


Franckfeier 1923 Die Bonzen
Die Bonzen, left to right: Max Reich, Max Born, James Franck and Robert Pohl in 1923

In 1920, the University of Göttingen offered Max Born its chair of theoretical physics, which had recently been vacated by Peter Debye. Göttingen was an important centre for mathematics, thanks to David Hilbert, Felix Klein, Hermann Minkowski and Carl Runge, but not so much for physics. This would change. As part of his price for coming to Göttingen, Born wanted Franck to head experimental physics there. On 15 November 1920, Franck became Professor of Experimental Physics and Director of the Second Institute for Experimental Physics, a fully tenured professor ordinarius. He was allowed two assistants, so he brought Hertha Sponer with him from Berlin to fill one of the positions. Pohl, a gifted teacher, headed the First Institute, and handled the lectures.[27][28] Franck refurbished the laboratory with the latest equipment using funds from his own pocket.[29]

Under Born and Franck, Göttingen was one of the world's great centres for physics between 1920 and 1933.[28][29] Although they published only three papers together, Born and Franck discussed every one of their papers with each other. Gaining admittance to Franck's laboratory became highly competitive. His doctoral students included Hans Kopfermann, Arthur R. von Hippel, Wilhelm Hanle, Fritz Houtermans, Heinrich Kuhn, Werner Kroebel, Walter Lochte-Holtgreven and Heinz Maier-Leibnitz.[30] In supervising doctoral candidates, Franck had to ensure that thesis topics were well-defined, and would teach the candidate how to conduct original research, while still staying within the limits of the candidate's ability, the laboratory's equipment and the institute's budget.[31] Under his direction, research was carried out into the structure of atoms and molecules.[32]

In his own research, Franck developed what became known as the Franck–Condon principle, a rule in spectroscopy and quantum chemistry that explains the intensity of vibronic transitions, simultaneous changes in electronic and vibrational energy levels of a molecule due to the absorption or emission of a photon of the appropriate energy. The principle states that during an electronic transition, a change from one vibrational energy level to another will be more likely to happen if the two vibrational wave functions overlap more significantly.[33][34] The principle has since been applied to a wide variety of related phenomena.[35]


This period came to an end when the Nazi Party won power in Germany in an election on 2 March 1933. The following month it enacted the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which provided for the retirement or dismissal of all Jewish civil servants, along with political opponents of the government. As a veteran of the First World War, Franck was exempt, but he submitted his resignation anyway on 17 April 1933.[36] He once commented that science was his God and nature was his religion. He did not require his daughters to attend religious instruction classes at school,[37] and even let them have a decorated tree at Christmas;[38] but he was proud of his Jewish heritage all the same.[37] He was the first academic to resign in protest over the law.[39] Newspapers around the world reported it, but no government or university protested.[40]

Franck assisted Frederick Lindemann in helping dismissed Jewish scientists find work overseas, before he left Germany in November 1933.[41] After a brief visit to the United States, where he measured the absorption of light in heavy water with Wood at Johns Hopkins University, he took up a position at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.[42] He needed a new collaborator, so he took on Hilde Levi, whose recent thesis had impressed him.[43] His original intention was to continue his research into the fluorescence of vapours and liquids, but under Bohr's influence they began to take an interest in biological aspects of these reactions, particularly photosynthesis, the process by which plants use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into more organic compounds. Biological processes turned out to be far more complicated than simple reactions in atoms and molecules. He co-authored two papers with Levi on the subject, which he would return to over the following years.[42][44][45]

Franck found a position at the Polytekniske Læreanstalt in Copenhagen for Arthur von Hippel, who was now his son in law, having married his daughter Dagmar. He decided to provide financial security for his children by dividing his Nobel Prize money between them. The gold medal itself was entrusted to Niels Bohr for safekeeping.[46] When Germany invaded Denmark on 9 April 1940, the Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy dissolved the gold medal, along with that of Max von Laue in aqua regia to prevent the Germans from taking them. He placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. After the war, he returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The Nobel Society then recast the Nobel Prize medals.[47][48]

In 1935, Franck moved to the United States, where he had accepted a professorship at Johns Hopkins University.[49] The laboratory there was poorly equipped compared to the one in Göttingen, but he received $10,000 for equipment from the Rockefeller Foundation. A more intractable problem was that the university had no money to hire skilled staff. Franck was concerned about his family members remaining in Germany, and needed money to help them emigrate. He therefore accepted an offer from the University of Chicago, where his work on photosynthesis had attracted interest, in 1938.[50]

Franck's first paper there, co-authored with Edward Teller, was on photochemical processes in crystals.[51] Hans Gaffron became his collaborator.[52] They were joined by Pringsheim, who escaped from Belgium after the German invasion. Franck arranged a position for Pringsheim at his laboratory.[53] Both his daughters and their families moved to the United States, and he was also able to bring out his elderly mother and aunt.[54] He became a naturalised United States citizen on 21 July 1941,[23] so he was not an enemy alien when the United States declared war on Germany on 11 December 1941. His daughters still were, though, so they were restricted from travelling, and could not take care of their mother when she fell ill and died on 10 January 1942, although they were permitted to attend her funeral.[55]

In February 1942, Arthur H. Compton established its Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago. As part of the Manhattan Project, its mission was to build nuclear reactors to create plutonium that would be used in atomic bombs.[56] The Metallurgical Laboratory's Chemistry Division was initially headed by Frank Spedding, but he preferred hands on work to administration. Compton then turned to Franck, with some trepidation owing to his German background.[57] Compton later wrote:

How Franck welcomed an invitation to join our project! It was a vote of confidence that far exceeded his hopes, and it gave him a chance to do his part for the cause of freedom. "It's not the German people I'm fighting", he explained. "It's the Nazis. They have a stranglehold over Germany. The German people are helpless until we can break the strength of their Nazi masters." The chemists welcomed Franck as an elder scientific statesman whose guidance they were glad to follow.[58]

In addition to heading the Chemistry Division, Franck was also the chairman of the Metallurgical Laboratory's Committee on Political and Social Problems regarding the atomic bomb, which consisted of himself and Donald J. Hughes, J. J. Nickson, Eugene Rabinowitch, Glenn T. Seaborg, J. C. Stearns and Leó Szilárd.[59] In 1945, Franck warned Henry A. Wallace of their fears that "mankind has learned to unleash atomic power without being ethically and politically prepared to use it wisely."[60] The committee compiled what became known as the Franck Report. Finished on 11 June 1945, it recommended that the atomic bombs not be used on the Japanese cities without warning.[59] In any event, the Interim Committee decided otherwise.[61]

Later life

Portrait of Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, James Franck and Rabi
Four Nobel Prize laureates. Franck between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, with Isidor Isaac Rabi in 1954

Franck married Hertha Sponer in a civil ceremony on 29 June 1946.[62] In his post-war research, he continued to tackle the problem of explaining the mechanism of photosynthesis. Meitner saw no break between his early and later work. She recalled that

Franck enjoyed talking about his problems, not so much to explain them to others as to satisfy his own mind. Once a problem had aroused his interest he was completely captivated, indeed obsessed by it. Common sense and straight logic were his main tools, together with simple apparatus. His research followed an almost straight line, from his early studies of ion mobilities to his last work on photosynthesis; it was always the energy exchange between atoms or molecules that fascinated him.[63]

In addition to the Nobel Prize. Franck was awarded the Max Planck Medal of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft in 1951 and the Rumford Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for his work on photosynthesis in 1955. He became an honorary citizen of Göttingen in 1953,[64] and was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1964. He died suddenly from a heart attack while visiting Göttingen on 21 May 1964,[65] and was buried in Chicago with his first wife.[66] In 1967, the University of Chicago named the James Franck Institute after him.[67] A lunar crater has also been named in his honour.[68] His papers are in the University of Chicago Library.[23]


  1. ^ a b "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1925". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 4.
  3. ^ a b Lemmerich 2011, pp. 8–11.
  4. ^ a b Lemmerich 2011, pp. 12–15.
  5. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 53–54.
  6. ^ a b Lemmerich 2011, pp. 16–17.
  7. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 5.
  8. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 54–55.
  9. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 331.
  10. ^ Franck, J. (1906). "Über die Beweglichkeit der Ladungsträger der Spitzenentladung". Annalen der Physik (in German). 326 (15): 972–1000. Bibcode:1906AnP...326..972F. doi:10.1002/andp.19063261508. ISSN 1521-3889.
  11. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 24–26.
  12. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 34–35.
  13. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 24–31.
  14. ^ a b c Kuhn 1965, pp. 55–56.
  15. ^ Franck, J.; Hertz, G. (1914). "Über Zusammenstöße zwischen Elektronen und Molekülen des Quecksilberdampfes und die Ionisierungsspannung desselben" [On the collisions between electrons and molecules of mercury vapor and the ionization potential of the same]. Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft (in German). 16: 457–467.
  16. ^ Hon, Giora (1989). "Franck and Hertz versus Townsend: A Study of Two Types of Experimental Error". Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences. 20 (1): 79–106. JSTOR 27757636.
  17. ^ Franck, J.; Hertz, G. (1914). "Über die Erregung der Quecksilberresonanzlinie 253,6 μμ durch Elektronenstöße" [On the excitation of mercury resonance lines at 253.6 nm by electron collisions]. Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft (in German). 16: 512–517.
  18. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 61.
  19. ^ Franck, J.; Hertz, G. (1919). "Die Bestätigung der Bohrschen Atomtheorie im optimalen Spektrum durch Untersuchungen der unelastischen Zusammenstöße". Physikalische Zeitschrift (in German). 20: 132–143.
  20. ^ Franck, James (11 December 1926). "Transformations of Kinetic Energy of Free Electrons into Excitation Energy of Atoms by Impacts Nobel Lecture" (PDF). Nobel Lecture. The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  21. ^ a b Lemmerich 2011, pp. 52–58.
  22. ^ Van der Kloot, W. (2004). "April 1918: Five Future Nobel prize-winners inaugurate weapons of mass destruction and the academic-industrial-military complex". Notes Rec. R. Soc. Lond. 58 (2): 149–160.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Guide to the James Franck Papers 1882–1966". University of Chicago. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  24. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 61–64.
  25. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 57–58.
  26. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 70–71.
  27. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 75–79.
  28. ^ a b "James Franck – Biographical". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  29. ^ a b Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 7.
  30. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 58–59.
  31. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 90.
  32. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 62–63.
  33. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, pp. 8–9.
  34. ^ Franck, J. (1926). "Elementary processes of photochemical reactions". Transactions of the Faraday Society. 21: 536–542. doi:10.1039/tf9262100536.
  35. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, pp. 9–11.
  36. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 188–194.
  37. ^ a b Nachmansohn 1979, p. 62
  38. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 132.
  39. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 12.
  40. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 197.
  41. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 203–204.
  42. ^ a b Lemmerich 2011, pp. 209–214.
  43. ^ Schweber 2012, p. 276.
  44. ^ Franck, J.; Levi, Hilde (1935). "Zum Mechanismus der Sauerstoff-Aktivierung durch fluoreszenzfähige Farbstoffe" [On the mechanism of oxygen activation by fluorescence dyes]. Naturwissenschaften (in German). 23 (14): 229–230. Bibcode:1935NW.....23..229F. doi:10.1007/BF01497533. ISSN 0028-1042.
  45. ^ Franck, J.; Levi, Hilde (1935). "Beitrag zur Untersuchung der Fluoreszenz in Flüssigkeiten" [Contribution to the study of fluorescence in liquids]. Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie (in German). B27: 409–420. ISSN 0942-9352.
  46. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 218–219.
  47. ^ de Hevesy 1962, pp. 27–28.
  48. ^ Schwartz, Stephan. "The Case of the Bottled Nobel medals" (PDF). Niels Bohr Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  49. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 63–64.
  50. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 223–224.
  51. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 229.
  52. ^ Lemmerich 2011, pp. 233–235.
  53. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 238.
  54. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 233.
  55. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 237.
  56. ^ Compton 1956, pp. 82–83.
  57. ^ Compton 1956, pp. 123–124.
  58. ^ Compton 1956, p. 124.
  59. ^ a b Byers, Nina (13 October 2002). "Physicists and the 1945 Decision to Drop the Bomb". CERN Courier. arXiv:physics/0210058. Bibcode:2002physics..10058B. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  60. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 16.
  61. ^ Compton 1956, pp. 235–236.
  62. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 259.
  63. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, pp. 17–18.
  64. ^ Rice & Jortner 2010, p. 20.
  65. ^ Kuhn 1965, pp. 67–68.
  66. ^ Lemmerich 2011, p. 309.
  67. ^ "About the Institute". James Franck Institute. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  68. ^ "Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Franck on Moon". USGS and NASA. Retrieved 20 June 2015.


Emil Warburg

Emil Gabriel Warburg (German pronunciation: [ˈʔeːmiːl ˈvaːɐ̯bʊɐ̯k]; 9 March 1846 – 28 July 1931) was a German physicist who during his career was professor of physics at the Universities of Strassburg, Freiburg and Berlin. He was president of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft 1899-1905. His name is notably associated with the Warburg element of electrochemistry.

Among his students were James Franck (Nobel prize for physics 1925), Eduard Grüneisen, Robert Pohl, Erich Regener and Hans von Euler-Chelpin (Nobel prize for chemistry 1929). He carried out research in the areas of kinetic theory of gases, electrical conductivity, gas discharges, heat radiation, ferromagnetism and photochemistry.

He was a member of the Warburg family, and the father of Otto Heinrich Warburg. He was a friend of Albert Einstein.

Enrico Fermi Institute

The Institute for Nuclear Studies was founded September 1945 as part of the University of Chicago with Samuel King Allison as director. On November 20, 1955 it was renamed The Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies. The name was shortened to The Enrico Fermi Institute (EFI) in January 1968.

Physicist Enrico Fermi was heavily involved in the founding years of the institute, and it was at his request that Allison took the position as the first director. In addition to Fermi and Allison, the initial faculty included Harold C. Urey, Edward Teller, Joseph E. Mayer, and Maria Goeppert Mayer.

Eugene Rabinowitch

Eugene Rabinowitch (1901–1973) was a Russian-born American biophysicist who is best known for his work in relation to nuclear weapons, especially as a co-author of the Franck Report and a co-founder in 1945 of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a global security and public policy magazine, which he edited until his death.When Rabinowitch arrived in New York City, he was assisted by Selig Hecht,

a man whose spontaneous sympathy, friendship and assistance were so generously given to me when I first came to America and felt lost in the human sea of New York.During World War II, Rabinowitch worked in the Metallurgical Laboratory (or "Met Lab"), the Manhattan Project's division at the University of Chicago. At that time he was a member of the Committee on Political and Social Problems, chaired by James Franck. Rabinowitch wrote (with help from Leó Szilárd) what became known as the Franck Report. The report recommended that nuclear energy be brought under civilian rather than military control and argued that the United States should demonstrate the atomic bomb to world leaders in an uninhabited desert or barren island before using it in combat.

The social and ethical concerns expressed in the Franck Report translated into the guiding principles of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, founded by Rabinowitch and fellow physicist Hyman Goldsmith. In the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of the Bulletin, Rabinowitch wrote that the magazine's purpose "was to awaken the public to full understanding of the horrendous reality of nuclear weapons and of their far-reaching implications for the future of mankind; to warn of the inevitability of other nations acquiring nuclear weapons within a few years, and of the futility of relying on America's possession of the 'secret' of the bomb." Over the years, Rabinowitch wrote more than 100 articles for the magazine, most of them editorials.

Before the war, Rabinowitch passionately pursued research in photosynthesis, a field in which he was to become a leader. After World War II, Rabinowitch taught and researched botany as a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, continuing his photosynthesis work and publishing the three-volume Photosynthesis and Related Processes, as well as many other books.

A bibliography of Rabinowitch's publications was compiled by Govindjee at the Department of Botany, University of Illinois. The papers of Rabinowitch are held in the Special Collections at the University of Chicago Library.

Franck (crater)

Franck is a small lunar impact crater that lies near the north end of Sinus Amoris, a bay on the northern part of Mare Tranquillitatis. Its diameter is 12 km. It was named after German physicist and Nobel laureate James Franck. The crater lies just to the southeast of Brewster, and farther to the south of Römer. Franck was previously designated Römer K.

This is a circular, bowl-shaped crater with a sharp rim that has not been significantly eroded. The interior walls slope down to the tiny floor at the midpoint. Just to the north of Franck is a joined pair of smaller craters, and the three nearly form a merged cluster of impacts.

Franck Report

The Franck Report of June 1945 was a document signed by several prominent nuclear physicists recommending that the United States not use the atomic bomb as a weapon to prompt the surrender of Japan in World War II.

The report was named for James Franck, the head of the committee that produced it. The committee was appointed by Arthur Compton and met in secret, in all-night sessions in a highly secure environment. Largely written by Eugene Rabinowitch, the report spoke about the impossibility to keep the United States atomic discoveries secret indefinitely. It predicted a nuclear arms race, forcing the United States to develop nuclear armaments at such a pace that no other nation would think of attacking first from fear of overwhelming retaliation. This prediction turned out to be accurate, as the nuclear arms race and the concept of mutual assured destruction became a major factor in the Cold War. The report recommended that the nuclear bomb not be used, and proposed that either a demonstration of the "new weapon" be made before the eyes of representatives of all of the United Nations, on a barren island or desert, or to try to keep the existence of the nuclear bomb secret for as long as possible.In the first case, the international community would be warned of the dangers and encouraged to develop an effective international control on such weapons. In the later case, the United States would gain several years time to further develop their nuclear armament, before other countries would start their own production. The Franck Report was signed by James Franck (Chairman), Donald J. Hughes, J. J. Nickson, Eugene Rabinowitch, Glenn T. Seaborg, J. C. Stearns, and Leó Szilárd.

Franck took the report to Washington June 12, where the Interim Committee, appointed by President Truman to advise him on use of the atomic bomb, met on June 21 to reexamine its earlier conclusions. However, this committee reaffirmed that there was no alternative to the use of the bomb and on August 6 and 9, the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Report was declassified and released to the public in early 1946, but Manhattan Project officials required the censorship of some passages.

Franck–Hertz experiment

The Franck–Hertz experiment was the first electrical measurement to clearly show the quantum nature of atoms, and thus "transformed our understanding of the world". It was presented on April 24, 1914, to the German Physical Society in a paper by James Franck and Gustav Hertz. Franck and Hertz had designed a vacuum tube for studying energetic electrons that flew through a thin vapor of mercury atoms. They discovered that, when an electron collided with a mercury atom, it could lose only a specific quantity (4.9 electron volts) of its kinetic energy before flying away. This energy loss corresponds to decelerating the electron from a speed of about 1.3 million meters per second to zero. A faster electron does not decelerate completely after a collision, but loses precisely the same amount of its kinetic energy. Slower electrons merely bounce off mercury atoms without losing any significant speed or kinetic energy.

These experimental results proved to be consistent with the Bohr model for atoms that had been proposed the previous year by Niels Bohr. The Bohr model was a precursor of quantum mechanics and of the electron shell model of atoms. Its key feature was that an electron inside an atom occupies one of the atom's "quantum energy levels". Before the collision, an electron inside the mercury atom occupies its lowest available energy level. After the collision, the electron inside occupies a higher energy level with 4.9 electron volts (eV) more energy. This means that the electron is more loosely bound to the mercury atom. There were no intermediate levels or possibilities in Bohr's quantum model. This feature was "revolutionary" because it was inconsistent with the expectation that an electron could be bound to an atom's nucleus by any amount of energy.In a second paper presented in May 1914, Franck and Hertz reported on the light emission by the mercury atoms that had absorbed energy from collisions. They showed that the wavelength of this ultraviolet light corresponded exactly to the 4.9 eV of energy that the flying electron had lost. The relationship of energy and wavelength had also been predicted by Bohr. After a presentation of these results by Franck a few years later, Albert Einstein is said to have remarked, "It's so lovely it makes you cry."On December 10, 1926, Franck and Hertz were awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom".

Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society

The Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (FHI) is a science research institute located at the heart of the academic district of Dahlem, in Berlin, Germany.

The original Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, founded in 1911, was incorporated in the Max Planck Society and simultaneously renamed for its first director, Fritz Haber, in 1953.

The research topics covered throughout the history of the institute include chemical kinetics and reaction dynamics, colloid chemistry, atomic physics, spectroscopy, surface chemistry and surface physics, chemical physics and molecular physics, theoretical chemistry, and materials science.During World War I and World War II, the research of the institute was directed more or less towards Germany's military needs.

To the illustrious past members of the Institute belong Herbert Freundlich, James Franck, Paul Friedlander, Rudolf Ladenburg, Michael Polanyi, Eugene Wigner, Ladislaus Farkas, Hartmut Kallmann, Otto Hahn, Robert Havemann, Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer, Iwan N. Stranski, Ernst Ruska, Max von Laue, Gerhard Borrmann, Rudolf Brill, Kurt Moliere, Jochen Block, Heinz Gerischer, Rolf Hosemann, Kurt Ueberreiter, Alexander Bradshaw, Elmar Zeitler, and Gerhard Ertl.

Nobel Prize laureates affiliated with the institute include Max von Laue (1914), Fritz Haber (1918), James Franck (1925), Otto Hahn (1944), Eugene Wigner (1963), Ernst Ruska (1986), Gerhard Ertl (2007).

Gustav Ludwig Hertz

Gustav Ludwig Hertz (22 July 1887 – 30 October 1975) was a German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize winner for his work on inelastic electron collisions in gases, and a nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.

James Franck Bright

James Franck Bright (29 May 1832 – 23 October 1920) was a British historian and Master of University College, Oxford.

James Franck Institute

The James Franck Institute of the University of Chicago conducts interdisciplinary research in physics, chemistry and materials science. Scientists at the institute include those interested in condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, materials chemistry, atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, geophysics, and biophysics.Founded in 1945 by university President Robert Maynard Hutchins as the Institute for the Study of Metals, it was renamed for Nobel Prize winning physicist James Franck in 1967. It had its beginnings in the Metallurgical Laboratory, the World War II project that initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, using the metal uranium. The Institute's founding director was Cyril Stanley Smith, former head of metallurgy at Los Alamos and the institute made early advances in pseudopotential theory and study of the Fermi surface. The Institute was an early pioneer in interdisciplinary research in wide-ranging subjects: as it was organized like a "benevolent anarchy", a large percent of its early papers did not even deal with metals but other aspects of chemistry and physics.

Joseph Edward Mayer

Joseph Edward Mayer (February 5, 1904, New York City – October 15, 1983) was a chemist who has formulated the Mayer expansion in statistical field theory.He was professor of chemistry at the University of California San Diego from 1960 to 1972, and previously at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the University of Chicago. He was married to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer from 1930 until her death in 1972. He went to work with James Franck in Göttingen, Germany in 1929, where he met Maria, a student of Max Born. Joseph Mayer was president of the American Physical Society from 1973 to 1975.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1964

This page lists Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1964.

List of Masters of University College, Oxford

The head of University College, Oxford is known as the Master.University College was founded by William of Durham with a legacy in 1249. The names of early Masters are not known. The earliest surviving College Register starts from 1509 and dates before that are uncertain.

A number of portraits of former Masters hang in University College Hall.

Metallurgical Laboratory

The Metallurgical Laboratory (or Met Lab) was a scientific laboratory at the University of Chicago that was established in February 1942 to study and use the newly discovered chemical element plutonium. It researched plutonium's chemistry and metallurgy, designed the world's first nuclear reactors to produce it, and developed chemical processes to separate it from other elements. In August 1942 the lab's chemical section was the first to chemically separate a weighable sample of plutonium, and on 2 December 1942, the Met Lab produced the first controlled nuclear chain reaction, in the reactor Chicago Pile-1, which was constructed under the stands of the university's old football stadium, Stagg Field.

The Metallurgical Laboratory was established as part of the Metallurgical Project, also known as the "Pile" or "X-10" Project, headed by Arthur H. Compton, a Nobel Prize laureate. In turn, this was part of the Manhattan Project – the Allied effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War II. The Metallurgical Laboratory was successively led by Richard L. Doan, Samuel K. Allison, Joyce C. Stearns and Farrington Daniels. Scientists who worked there included Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Eugene Wigner and Glenn Seaborg. At its peak on 1 July 1944, it had 2,008 staff.

Chicago Pile-1 was soon moved by the lab to a more remote site in the Argonne Forest, where its original materials were used to build an improved Chicago Pile-2. Another reactor, Chicago Pile-3, was built at the Argonne site in early 1944. This was the world's first reactor to use heavy water as a neutron moderator. It went critical in May 1944, and was first operated at full power in July 1944. The Metallurgical Laboratory also designed the X-10 Graphite Reactor at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the B Reactor at the Hanford Engineer Works in the state of Washington.

As well as the work on reactor development, the Metallurgical Laboratory studied the chemistry and metallurgy of plutonium, and worked with DuPont to develop the bismuth phosphate process used to separate plutonium from uranium. When it became certain that nuclear reactors would involve radioactive materials on a gigantic scale, there was considerable concern about the health and safety aspects, and the study of the biological effects of radiation assumed greater importance. It was discovered that plutonium, like radium, was a bone seeker, making it especially hazardous. The Metallurgical Laboratory became the first of the national laboratories, the Argonne National Laboratory, on 1 July 1946. The work of the Met Lab also led to the creation of the Enrico Fermi Institute and the James Franck Institute at the university.

Ole J. Kleppa

Ole J. Kleppa (February 4, 1920 – May 27, 2007) was a Norwegian-born physical chemist and a pioneer and leading authority in the study of metals, molten salts, ceramics and minerals at high temperatures. Kleppa was a professor at the University of Chicago, where he held appointments in the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Geophysical Sciences, the James Franck Institute, and the College. He was the director of the James Franck Institute and the Materials Research Laboratory.

Paul Wiegmann

Paul B. Wiegmann (Павел Борисович Вигман) is a Russian physicist. He is the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, James Franck Institute and Enrico Fermi Institute. He specializes in theoretical condensed matter physics. He made pioneering contributions to the field of quantum integrable systems. He found exact solutions of O(3) Non-linear Sigma Model, (Wiegmann 1985), Wess–Zumino–Witten model (together with Alexander Polyakov), Anderson impurity model and Kondo model.

R. Stephen Berry

R. Stephen Berry (born 1931 in Denver, Colorado) is a U.S. professor of physical chemistry.He is the James Franck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at The University of Chicago. He was also Special Advisor for National Security to the Director, at Argonne National Laboratory.

Robert Gomer

Robert Gomer (born 24 March 1924, Vienna, Austria; died 12 December 2016) was an Austrian scientist known for his research on field electron emission and field ionization, and his role as an adviser to the United States government.

He was educated at Pomona College and the University of Rochester, where he received his doctorate in 1949. From 1949 to 1950, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and worked with G. B. Kistiakowsky. He subsequently moved to the University of Chicago, where he was a professor of chemistry in the James Franck Institute and the Department of Chemistry.From 1977 to 1983 he served as director of the James Franck Institute and in 1984 he was appointed Carl William Eisendrath Distinguished Service Professor. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the A. von Humboldt Society Senior U.S. Science Award, the Davisson-Germer Prize of the American Physical Society, the Medard W. Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society, and the Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1981. Prior to his retirement he worked on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Chemical Physics, Applied Physics, and Annual Review of Physical Chemistry.

He served on numerous scientific committees, including the President's Science Advisory Committee (1961-1965) and the Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Physical Sciences, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (1961-1975), and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Universities Space Research Association (1976-1978).

He is the author of Field Emission and Field Ionization (American Vacuum Society Classics), a pioneering vacuum text based on four lectures presented at Harvard University in 1958. He was also a member of the JASON Defense Advisory Group, where he worked to discourage the use of nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War.

Theodore Puck

Theodore Puck (September 24, 1916 – November 6, 2005) was an American geneticist born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Chicago public schools and obtained his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree from the University of Chicago. His PhD work was on the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom and his doctoral adviser was James Franck.

Puck was an early pioneer of "somatic cell genetics" and single-cell plating ( i.e. "cloning" .) This work allowed the genetics of human and other mammalian cells to be studied in detail. Puck's key work ultimately made modern genetics, such as the human genome and other mammalian genome projects, possible. Dr. Puck with the assistance of Philip I. Marcus, successfully cloned a HeLa cell in 1955.

Puck made many basic discoveries in several areas. His team found that humans had 46 chromosomes rather than 48 which had earlier been believed. He developed the CHO cell line from Chinese hamster ovarian cells for this work. These cells are still widely utilized in the bio pharmaceutical industry. Puck studied X-rays and cellular mutations. He also isolated and studied cellular mutations.

Puck has won a number of honors for his work most notably the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1958. In 1973 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Renato Dulbecco and Harry Eagle. Dulbecco won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1975.He also founded the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at the University of Denver where he was an Emeritus Professor. A member of the National Academy of Science since 1960, Puck published more than 200 papers on topics including Alzheimer's Disease and Down syndrome, and optimising radiotherapy dosages for the treatment of cancer.

He died following complications from a broken hip.

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