Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912 – 2007)

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: 1912-2007. ‘The physicist and philosopher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, who was the last surviving member of the team that tried and failed to build a nuclear bomb for Germany during the Second World War, died on 28 April at the age of 94. After the war, von Weizsäcker controversially claimed that he and other German physicists had deliberately chosen not to build the bomb because they did not want to equip the Nazi regime with such a dangerous weapon. Von Weizsäcker also accompanied Werner Heisenberg to visit Niels Bohr in Nazi-occupied Denmark in September 1941 – a famous meeting that was later to inspire Michael Frayn’s stage play Copenhagen.’

Wikipedia: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. ‘Weizsäcker was born in Kiel, Germany, the son of the German diplomat Ernst von Weizsäcker. He was the elder brother of the former German President Richard von Weizsäcker, and father of the physicist and environmental researcher Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker.
From 1929 to 1933, Weizsäcker studied physics, mathematics and astronomy in Berlin, Göttingen and Leipzig supervised by and in cooperation, e.g., with Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. The supervisor of his doctoral thesis was Friedrich Hund.
His special interest as a young researcher was the binding energy of atomic nuclei, and the nuclear processes in stars. Together with Hans Bethe he found a formula for the nuclear processing in stars, called the Bethe-Weizsäcker formula and the cyclic process of fusion in stars (Bethe-Weizsäcker process, published 1937).’



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