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Born Mar. 21, 1904, in Kiel. German physicist (German Democratic Republic). Member of the German Academy of Sciences (1956); vice-president of the academy from 1962 to 1967.
Steenbeck studied at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel from 1922 to 1927. From 1927 to 1945, he was employed by the firm of Siemens and Schuckert. From 1945 to 1956, he worked in the USSR. Steenbeck became a professor at the University of Jena in 1956 and was made the director of the Institute of Magne-tohydrodynamics in 1958. From 1957 to 1962, he directed research in nuclear physics and nuclear power engineering in the German Democratic Republic. In 1965 he became the chairman of the Scientific Council of the German Democratic Republic.
Steenbeck’s main works deal with gas-discharge physics, semiconductor physics, isotope separation, and magnetohydrodynam-ics. Steenbeck took part in the development of the first nuclear power plant in the German Democratic Republic.
Steenbeck was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He became a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1966.