Fritz London


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London, Fritz (Wolfgang)

(1900–54) physicist; born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland). While a student in Zurich, he published his pioneering quantum theory of chemical bonding (1927); in 1930 his quantum mechanical interpretation of the Van der Waals intramolecular forces made them known as "London forces." Fleeing the Nazis (1933), London and his physicist brother Heinz London went to Oxford where the two developed the London equations on superconductivity (1935). Fritz London came to Duke University (1939), where he continued his contributions to studies of superfluidity and cryogenics (1939–54).
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Cornell has received numerous awards for his work, including the Samuel Wesley Stratton Award from NIST, the Zeiss Award in Optics, the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the Fritz London Award for low temperature physics, the Rabi Prize of the American Physical Society, the 1997 King Faisal International Prize for Science, the 1998 Lorentz Medal, the 1999 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics.
According to Gavroglu and Simoes, this left the physical chemists and the chemical physicists such as Fritz London, Robert Mulliken and Linus Pauling working in a limnal space that was, as the title of the book says, neither physics nor chemistry.
The Fritz London Memorial Prize is perhaps second only to the Nobel Prize, and seven previous London recipients also have become Nobel winners.