Walther Kossel

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Kossel, Walther


Born Jan. 4, 1888, in Berlin; died May 22, 1956, in Tübingen. German physicist. Son of A. Kossel.

Kossel graduated from the University of Heidelberg in 1911. He was professor at the University of Kiel (from 1921) and the Technische Hochschule in Danzig (from 1932). Beginning in 1947, he was the director of the Physics Institute in Tübingen.

In 1916, Kossel advanced a hypothesis that formed the basis of the theory of the ionic chemical bond and heterovalency. In 1928, simultaneously with the German physicist I. N. Stranski, Kossel proposed a molecular kinetic theory of crystal growth. He discovered the effect of the formation of diffraction fringes when a divergent X-ray beam is diffracted in a crystal (Kossel fringes).


Valenzkräfte und Röntgenspektren. Berlin, 1921.


Sommerfeld, A. “Zum 60. Geburtstage von Walther Kossel am 4. Januar 1948.” Zeitschrift für Naturforschung, 1947, vol. 2a, fasc. 10.
Andrade, E. N. da C. “Professor Walther Kossel.” Nature, 1956, vol. 178, no. 4533.
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