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Hans Albrecht Bethe

Bethe, Hans Albrecht (bāˈtə) [key], 1906–2005, American physicist, b. Strassburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France), educated at Frankfurt and Munich universities. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933, he came (1935) to the United States to teach at Cornell, where he became a professor (1937–75). He was director (1943–46) of the theoretical physics division of the Los Alamos Atomic Scientific Laboratory and in 1958 was scientific adviser to the United States at the nuclear test ban talks in Geneva. During the 1980s and 1990s, Bethe campaigned vigorously for the peaceful use and international control of nuclear energy. He is noted for his theories on atomic properties and in 1967 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the origin of solar and stellar energy (see nucleosynthesis). He wrote The Road from Los Alamos (1991) and, with R. W. Jackiw, Intermediate Quantum Mechanics (3d ed. 1997).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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