Walter Friedrich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Friedrich, Walter


Born Dec. 25, 1883, in Magdeburg; died Oct. 16, 1968, in Berlin. German physicist (German Democratic Republic) and public figure. Member (1949) and president (1951–56) of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin.

Friedrich studied at the universities of Geneva and Munich from 1905 to 1911. From 1912 to 1914 he worked at the University of Munich, and from 1914 to 1922, at the University of Freiburg, where he became a professor in 1921. Beginning in 1923, he was a professor at the University of Berlin, of which he was also rector from 1949 to 1952. At the same time, from 1923 to 1945, he was director of the Institute for the Study of Radiation of the Humboldt University of Berlin, and from 1948, director of the Institute of Medicine and Biology. In 1961 he was named president of the medical and biological research center of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin.

In 1912, at the suggestion of M. von Laue, Friedrich and P. Knipping (Germany) carried out an experiment to detect the diffraction of X rays in a crystal and obtained the first Laue patterns. Friedrich investigated the physical properties and biological action of various radiations. He also contributed to the development of X-ray therapy for malignant tumors.

Friedrich was a member of the People’s Chamber of the German Democratic Republic. He was a member of the World Peace Council and a member of the Society of German-Soviet Friendship.


The Principles of Physics and Biology of Radiation Therapy. New York, 1922. (With B. Kroenig.)


Walter Friedrich: Leben und Wirken. Berlin, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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