Manne Siegbahn


Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1924

Born: 3 December 1886, Örebro, Sweden

Died: 26 September 1978, Stockholm, Sweden

Affiliation at the time of the award: Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Prize motivation: “for his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy”

Manne Siegbahn received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1925.

Prize share: 1/1


Manne Siegbahn was born in Örebro, and studied at the University of Lund. He later became a professor both there and in Uppsala. In 1937 he became director of the Nobel Institute of Experimental Physics in Stockholm. The Institute became a leader in Swedish cyclotron research, and Siegbahn also developed an extensive international network of researchers. One of his two sons, Kai Siegbahn, followed in his footsteps and held the same chair and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981.


A few years after the discovery of X-rays, Charles Barkla showed that compounds exposed to X-rays emitted secondary X-rays with wavelengths that were characteristic of different elements. After studying a number of elements, Henry Moseley was able to add to and revise the periodic table. Manne Siegbahn developed apparatus and methods for improving accuracy when mapping x-ray spectra. This advance proved important in the development of atomic and quantum physics.

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