Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Stern, Otto

  • Virginia Trimble
Reference work entry

BornSohrau (Zory, Poland), 17 February 1888

DiedBerkeley, California, USA, August 1969

German-American experimental physicist Otto Stern is remembered for the Stern-Gerlach experiment (1922), which established the reality of space and angular momentum quantization, though his 1943 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for later work in developing the molecular beam technique and discovering the anomalous magnetic moment of the proton (directly responsible for the wavelength of the 21-cm transition of neutral hydrogen in the interstellar medium). Stern received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Breslau in 1912, went as a postdoctoral associate to  Albert Einstein in Prague, and moved with Einstein to Zürich in 1913, where he became an unsalaried Privatdozent (lecturer) at the Federal Institute of Technology [ETH]. In 1914, Stern became a Privatdozent at Frankfurt and returned there after service in World War I to Max Born’s Institute for Theoretical Physics, soon...

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Selected References

  1. Bederson, Benjamin (2003). “The Physical Tourist.” Physics in Perspective 5: 87–121.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Rabi, Isidor I. (1969). “Otto Stern, Co-discoverer of Space Quantization, Dies at 81.” Physics Today 22, no. 10: 103–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvine School of Physical SciencesIrvineUSA