Laue, Max Theodor Felix Von

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Laue, Max Theodor Felix Von


Born Oct. 9, 1879, in Pfaffendorf-bei-Koblenz; died Apr. 24, 1960 in Berlin. German physicist (Federal Republic of Germany).

Laue studied at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, and Berlin. He was an assistant to M. Planck at the Institute of Theoretical Physics from 1905 to 1909. He worked at the University of Munich from 1909 to 1912. Later, he became a professor at the universities of Zürich (1912–14), Frankfurt (1914–19), Berlin (1919–43), and Göttingen (from 1946). He was deputy director of the Institute of Physics at Göttingen from 1946 to 1951 and director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at Dahlem (West Berlin) from 1951 to 1953. In 1953 he became director of the Fritz Haber Institute.

In 1912, in proof of the wave nature of X rays, Laue proposed an experiment to detect the diffraction of the rays from the spatial lattice of a crystal and developed the theory of X-ray diffraction. Under his supervision, W. Friedrich and P. Knip-ping obtained the first Laue diffraction patterns and thereby opened the way for X-ray structural analysis. Laue also devoted study to the theory of relativity, superconductivity, and the Compton effect.

Laue was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1914. He was one of the originators of the Göttingen Declaration of German scientists against atomic research and atomic armament. He became a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1930.


Gesammelte Schriften und Vorträge, vols. 1–3. Braunschweig, 1961.
In Russian translation: Istoriia fiziki. Moscow, 1956.
“Moi tvorcheskii put’ ν fizike.” (Autobiography.) Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1960, vol. 72, issue 4, p. 831.
Stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1969.


Konobeevskii, S. T. “Maks von Laue.” (Obituary.) Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1 960, vol. 72, issue 4, p. 827.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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