Hans Bethe dies at 98

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel laureate Hans Bethe, who fled Nazi Germany and became a key figure in the development of the first atomic bomb, died at his home in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University said Monday. He was 98.

Bethe, who died Sunday, won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1967 for discoveries about energy production in stars. He was emeritus professor of physics at Cornell, which he joined in 1935 after leaving Germany.

During World War II, Bethe took leave from Cornell to head the theoretical physics division for the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the United States developed the atomic bomb.

After the war, Bethe worked with U.S. scientist Edward Teller on the hydrogen bomb. He later campaigned for the peaceful use and international control of nuclear energy.

In 1958 Bethe headed a presidential study of nuclear disarmament and was an adviser to the United States at the Geneva nuclear test-ban talks.

Born in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, Bethe taught physics at Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich. While teaching at the University of Tubingen in 1933, Bethe, whose mother was Jewish, lost his post due to the rise of the Nazi regime.

Bethe moved to England and lectured at Manchester and Bristol before joining the faculty of Cornell.

His main work concerned the theory of atomic nuclei. Bethe's work on nuclear reactions led him to the discovery of the reactions that supply the energy in the stars, including the carbon-nitrogen cycle, according to the Nobel Prize Web site.

Bethe also made major discoveries about how atoms are built up from smaller particles, about what makes dying stars blow up, and how the heavier elements are produced from the ashes of these supernovas.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
17 years 10 months ago #9981

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