J. Hans D. Jensen was born in Hamburg on 25th June 1907, the son of a gardener Karl Jensen. From 1926 he studied physics, mathematics, physical chemistry and philosophy at the Universities of Hamburg and Freiburg i. Br. He obtained his Ph.D in 1932 in Hamburg (physics, Dr.rer.nat.). He became scientific assistant at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Hamburg. In 1936 he obtained D. Sc. in Hamburg (Dr. habil.), and he became docent in 1937, and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Technische Hochschule in Hannover in 1941. In 1949 he was appointed Professor at the University of Heidelberg; since 1969 he is emeritus praecox. In 1947 he was honored with a professorship h. c. at the University of Hamburg, and in 1964 with a doctorate h.c. at the Technische Universitat Hannover. In 1969 he was appointed honorary citizen of Fort Lauderdale (Florida).
He has been a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences since 1947, a corresponding member of the Max Planck Gesellschaft since 1960, and a member of the Sacri Romani Imperii Academia Naturae Coriosorum (Leopoldina, Halle) since 1964.
He was visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin (1951), the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton (1952), the University of California at Berkeley (1952), the California Institute of Technology (1953), the Indiana University (1953), the University of Minnesota (1956), and the University of California at La Jolla (1961).
Since 1955 he has been, with O. Haxel, co-editor of the Zeitschrift für Physik.
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.
J. Hans D. Jensen died on February 11, 1973.