Die Erste Stunde (The First Hour)

  • Johann RafelskiEmail author
Part of the FIAS Interdisciplinary Science Series book series (FIAS)


I recall my “first hour” events following on my meeting in Fall 1968 in the classroom with my academic teacher and thesis mentor Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. multiple Walter Greiner. My comments focus on the creation of the new “strong fields” domain of physics in Frankfurt. I argue that this was the research field closest to Walter’s heart during his lustrous academic career. I will describe the events that led on to Greiner’s course books, Walter’s actions leading to the rise of Frankfurt School of Theoretical Physics, and show how a stability principle defined his science.



The author thanks FIAS and Horst Stöcker for support making this presentation possible.


  1. 1.
    T. Biró, C. Greiner, B. Müller, J. Rafelski, H. Stöcker, Topical issue on frontiers in nuclear, heavy ion and strong field physics. Eur. Phys. J. A 54, 31 (2018).
  2. 2.
    W. Greiner, J. Rafelski, Spezielle Relativitätstheorie (Verlag Harri Deutsch, Thun and Frankfurt am Main, 1984), 322 pp. ISBN 3-87144-711-0Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Rafelski, Relativity Matters : From Einstein’s EMC2 to Laser Particle Acceleration and Quark-Gluon Plasma (Springer, Berlin, 2017), 468 pp.
  4. 4.
    G.E. Brown, W. Greiner, D.H. Wilkinson (those only contributing to the pertinent topic of panel discussion), Panel discussion: new directions in nuclear spectroscopy, in Proceedings of International Conference on Properties of Nuclear States, 25–30 August 1969 (University of Montréal Press, Montréal, 1969)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W. Pieper, W. Greiner, Interior electron shells in superheavy nuclei. Z. f. Phys. 218, 327 (1969).
  6. 6.
    D. Rein, Über den Grundzustand überschwerer Atome (translated: On the groundstate of superheavy atoms). Z. f. Phys. 221, 423 (1969).
  7. 7.
    F.G. Werner, J.A. Wheeler, Superheavy nuclei. Phys. Rev. 109, 126 (1958).
  8. 8.
    U. Fano, Effects of configuration interaction on intensities and phase shifts. Phys. Rev. 124, 1866 (1961).
  9. 9.
    B. Müller, H. Peitz, J. Rafelski, W. Greiner, Solution of the Dirac equation for strong external fields. Phys. Rev. Lett. 28, 1235 (1972).
  10. 10.
    J. Rafelski, B. Müller, W. Greiner, The charged vacuum in over-critical fields. Nucl. Phys. B 68, 585 (1974).
  11. 11.
    M. Gyulassy, Higher order vacuum polarization for finite radius nuclei. Nucl. Phys. A 244, 497 (1975).
  12. 12.
    M. Soffel, B. Müller, W. Greiner, Dirac particles in rindler space. Phys. Rev. D 22, 1935 (1980).
  13. 13.
    A. Müller, U. Heinz, B. Müller, W. Greiner, On gravitation theories with limiting curvature. J. Phys. A 11, 1781 (1978).
  14. 14.
    P.O. Hess, W. Greiner, Pseudo-complex general relativity. Int. J. Mod. Phys. E 18, 51 (2009).
  15. 15.
    P.O. Hess, M. Schäfer, W. Greiner, Pseudo-Complex General Relativity. FIAS Interdisciplinary Science Series (Springer, Switzerland, 2016), p. 235Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    B. Müller, W. Greiner, J. Rafelski, Interpretation of external fields as temperature. Phys. Lett. A 63, 181 (1977).
  17. 17.
    L. Labun, J. Rafelski, Acceleration and vacuum temperature. Phys. Rev. D 86, 041701 (2012).
  18. 18.
    H. Stöcker et al., Nuclear fluid dynamics versus intranuclear cascade-possible evidence for collective flow in central high-energy nuclear collisions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 1807 (1981).
  19. 19.
    J. Rafelski, Melting Hadrons, Boiling Quarks: From Hagedorn Temperature to Ultra-Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collisions at CERN – With a Tribute to Rolf Hagedorn (Springer, Switzerland, 2016)., ISBN 9783319175454 (online), 9783319175447 (print)
  20. 20.
    C. Greiner, P. Koch, H. Stöcker, Separation of strangeness from antistrangeness in the phase transition from quark to hadron matter: possible formation of strange quark matter in heavy ion collisions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1825 (1987).
  21. 21.
    J. Rafelski, L.P. Fulcher, W. Greiner, Superheavy elements and an upper limit to the electric field strength. Phys. Rev. Lett. 27, 958 (1971).
  22. 22.
    J. Rafelski, Die Konsequenzen nichtlinearer elektromagnetischer Feldtheorie in überschweren Elementen. Diploma thesis, Institut für Theoretische Physik der Universität Frankfurt am Main, June 1971,
  23. 23.
    J. Rafelski, W. Greiner, L.P. Fulcher, Superheavy elements and nonlinear electrodynamics. Nuovo Cim. B 13, 135 (1973).
  24. 24.
    J. Rafelski, G. Soff, W. Greiner, Lower bound to limiting fields in nonlinear electrodynamics. Phys. Rev. A 7, 903 (1973).
  25. 25.
    B. Müller. J. Rafelski, W. Greiner, Electron wave functions in overcritical electrostatic potentials. Nuovo Cim. A 18, 551 (1973)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    J. Rafelski, B. Müller, W. Greiner, Superheavy electronic molecules. Lett. Nuovo Cim. 4, 469 (1972).
  27. 27.
    J. Rafelski, J. Kirsch, B. Müller, J. Reinhardt, W. Greiner, Probing QED Vacuum with Heavy Ions, Springer FIAS Interdisciplinary Science Series (Springer, Berlin, 2017), p. 211.
  28. 28.
    J. Rafelski, B. Müller, Magnetic splitting of quasimolecular electronic states in strong fields. Phys. Rev. Lett. 36, 517 (1976).
  29. 29.
    J. Reinhardt, U. Müller, B. Müller, W. Greiner, The decay of the vacuum in the field of superheavy nuclear systems. Z. Phys. A 303, 173 (1981)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    J. Rafelski B. Müller, The critical distance in collisions of heavy ions. Phys. Lett. 65B, 205 (1976).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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