Otto Stern

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Stern, Otto


Born Feb. 17, 1888, in Sorau (Żary), Silesia; died Aug. 17, 1969, in Berkeley, Calif. Physicist.

Stern graduated from the University of Breslau (Wroclaw) in 1912. He joined the staff of the University of Frankfurt in 1920 as a docent and subsequently became a professor there. He was named a professor at the University of Rostock in 1922. From 1923 to 1933, Stern was a professor at the University of Hamburg and director of its physicochemical laboratory. He then emigrated to the United States; from 1933 to 1945 he was a professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh.

Stern’s principal works were devoted to nuclear physics, quantum physics, and thermodynamics. In 1920, in what is now called the Stern-Zartman experiment, he became the first to measure directly the velocities of molecules. In 1921 he suggested the possibility of experimentally verifying the space quantization of the magnetic moment of an atom; together with the German physicist W. Gerlach, he performed the verification, a report of which was published in 1922. In 1933, Stern and the German physicist O. R. Frisch became the first to measure the magnetic moment of a proton in the H2 molecule. The method of molecular or atomic beams was developed by Stern and his colleagues. Stern received a Nobel Prize in 1943.

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OTTO Stern, physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1969.
The concept of zero-point energy was developed in Germany by Albert Einstein and Otto Stern in 1913, as a corrective term added to a zero-grounded formula developed by Max Planck in 1900.
He taught nine Nobel prize winners, including Werner Heisenberg, Enrico Fermi, Otto Stern, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer.
The German-born American physicist Otto Stern (1888-1969) studied these molecular beams for years and by 1933 had conclusively demonstrated that they did behave like magnets and in ways, moreover, that also supported quantum mechanics.