Weisskopf, Victor F.

Weisskopf, Victor F. (Frederick)

(1908–  ) physicist; born in Vienna, Austria. While a graduate student in Germany, he and E. P. Wigner made advancements in quantum electrodynamics in their studies of light emission by electrons. With Wolfgang Pauli he postulated the existence of charged particles without spin (1934); experimental evidence for this theory occurred in 1946 with the discovery of the meson. Weisskopf fled the Nazis in 1937 and joined the University of Rochester (1937–43). He became a group leader of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos (1943–46), then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1946–74), where he continued his research on the nucleus and subatomic particles. He concurrently served CERN:Geneva as its director-general. An accomplished pianist and lover of classical art and music, he published numerous books, including textbooks and autobiographical accounts of life as a physicist.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.