Bloch, Felix

Bloch, Felix,

1905–83, American physicist, b. Zürich, Switzerland, Ph.D. Univ. of Leipzig, Germany, 1928. He was a professor at Stanford from 1934 until his retirement in 1971. Bloch and Edward PurcellPurcell, Edward Mills,
1912–97, American physicist, b. Taylorville, Ill., Ph.D. Harvard, 1938. During World War II, Purcell was a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory.
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 shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for their development in 1946 of a new method for determining the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. Known as nuclear magnetic resonance absorption, the nondestructive technique enabled researchers to place any material in an electromagnetic field, expose it to radio waves, and characterize its atomic makeup. Working independently, the two researchers made the breakthrough at about the same time, providing the basis for magnetic resonance imagingmagnetic resonance imaging
(MRI), noninvasive diagnostic technique that uses nuclear magnetic resonance to produce cross-sectional images of organs and other internal body structures.
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 (MRI), an important medical diagnostic tool.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bloch, Felix


Born Oct. 23, 1905, in Zürich. American physicist and member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (1948).

Bloch studied at the Higher Technical School in Zürich and at the University of Leipzig. He has held the Chair of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University (California) since 1934. He worked at the Los Alamos Laboratory from 1942 to 1945.

Bloch is the founder of contemporary methods of solid-state physics. He laid the foundations of the quantum theory of crystals (the zone theory), and of low-temperature ferromagnetism. He developed the fundamentals of the theory and carried out the first experiments in the investigation of nuclear magnetic resonance (Nobel Prize, 1952). Bloch was the first to introduce the concept of spin waves.


“Quantenmechanik der Elektronen in Kristallgittern.” Zeitschrift für Physik, 1928, vol. 52, no. 7.
In Russian translation:
Molekuliarnaia teoriia magnetizma. Leningrad-Moscow, 1936.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bloch, Felix

(1905–83) physicist; born in Zurich, Switzerland. He made pioneering contributions to studies of superconductivity and magnetism while affiliated with several European universities. After Hitler's regime caused his emigration to the U.S.A. (1934), he went to Stanford (1934–41), investigated uranium isotopes for the Manhattan Project (1941–44), performed counter-radar research for Harvard (1944–45), then returned to Stanford (1945–71). He was the first director general of the European Commission for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva (1954–55). He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize (with E. M. Purcell) for developing nuclear magnetic resonance, a technique that revolutionized analytical chemistry and medical diagnostics. Several concepts and features dealing with superconductivity have been named after Bloch.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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