Karl F. Herzfeld Facts

Karl F. Herzfeld Facts
Karl Ferdinand Herfeld (February 24, 1892 to June 3, 1978) was an Austrian physicist. His book on kinetic theory became a graduate-level textbook in German universities.
Interesting Karl F. Herzfeld Facts:
He was born in Vienna to a prominent Jewish family and was the son of a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Vienna.
In 1902 he entered the private Schottengymnasium run by Benedictine Order.
In 1910 he entered the University of Vienna to study physics and chemistry.
In 1912 he took courses at the University of Zurich and in 1913 he studied at the University of Gottingen and in 1914 he returned to the University of Vienna and was granted a doctorate in theoretical physics.
His thesis proposed a model of the theory of metals using statistical mechanics.
After receiving his doctorate he volunteered for service in the army just before World War I broke out and during his term of service he published six papers on statistical mechanics on problems in chemistry and physics.
In 1919 he moved to Munich to study analytical chemistry but found the department of theoretical physics more interesting and became privatdozent at Ludwig Maximilians University in theoretical physics and physical chemistry.
From 1925 to 1926 he was professor of theoretical physics and Linus Pauling did postdoctoral studies with him.
He published his text on kinetic theory in 1925.
In 1926 he was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and it became a faculty position.
in 1928 he co-authored a research paper with Francis Rice on molecular vibrations in the transfer of energy between ultrasonic waves and gas molecules.
He worked with James Franck who received a Nobel Prize in 1925 and with Maria Goeppert-Mayer who won a Nobel Prize in 1926.
Goeppert-Mayer and Herzfeld published On States of Aggregation in 1934 and On the theory of fusion in 1935.
From 1936 to his death in 1978 Herzfeld was chairman of the physics department of Catholic University of America.
In the 1940's he focused the University's attention on quantum mechanical calculations of the electron structure of atomic molecules and the University became a leader in the field.
In 1958 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 1960 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


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