Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1967
Hans Bethe

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Hans Bethe - Facts

Hans Albrecht Bethe

Hans Albrecht Bethe

Born: 2 July 1906, Strassburg (now Strasbourg), Germany (now France)

Died: 6 March 2005, Ithaca, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Prize motivation: "for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars"

Field: astrophysics

Prize share: 1/1

Deepened our Knowledge of the Universe around Us

The discovery of fission - the splitting of heavy nuclei - revealed the liberation of large quantities of energy; an effect now exploited in nuclear reactors. This energy is generated by differences in mass. Energy is also liberated when light nuclei combine to form heavier ones, i.e. fusion. In 1938, Hans Bethe proved that fusion produces the enormous energy emitted by stars. He proposed two different processes, both of which result in hydrogen nuclei fusing with helium nuclei.

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