Fritz Sauter

Fritz Sauter

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Fritz Eduard Josef Maria Sauter (1906 – 1983) was an Austrian-German physicist who worked mostly in quantum electrodynamics
Quantum electrodynamics
Quantum electrodynamics is the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics. In essence, it describes how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved...

 and solid-state physics
Solid-state physics
Solid-state physics is the study of rigid matter, or solids, through methods such as quantum mechanics, crystallography, electromagnetism, and metallurgy. It is the largest branch of condensed matter physics. Solid-state physics studies how the large-scale properties of solid materials result from...

.

Education


From 1924 to 1928, Sauter studied mathematics and physics at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
University of Innsbruck has been a university in Austria since 1669.It is currently the largest education facility in the Austrian Bundesland of Tirol and third largest in Austria according to student population, behind Vienna University and the University of Graz.-History:In 1562 a Jesuit grammar...

. He received his doctorate in 1928 under Arthur March, with a thesis on Kirchoff’s
Gustav Kirchhoff
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects...

 theory of diffraction. After graduation, he did postdoctoral studies with Arnold Sommerfeld
Arnold Sommerfeld
Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld was a German theoretical physicist who pioneered developments in atomic and quantum physics, and also educated and groomed a large number of students for the new era of theoretical physics...

 and was his assistant at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany...

. In January 1931, Sommerfeld recommended Sauter to Max Born
Max Born
Max Born was a German-born physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 30s...

, director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the Georg-August University of Göttingen
Georg-August University of Göttingen
The University of Göttingen , known informally as Georgia Augusta, is a university in the city of Göttingen, Germany.Founded in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover, it opened for classes in 1737. The University of Göttingen soon grew in size and popularity...

.

Career


From 1931 to 1934, Sauter was an assistant to Richard Becker
Richard Becker
Richard Becker was a German theoretical physicist who made contributions in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, superconductivity, and quantum electrodynamics.-Education:...

 at the Technische Hochschule
Technische Hochschule
Technische Hochschule is what an Institute of Technology used to be called in German-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands, before most of them changed their name to Technische Universität or Technische Universiteit in the 1970s and in the...

 Berlin (Today: Technische Universität Berlin
Technical University of Berlin
The Technische Universität Berlin is a research university located in Berlin, Germany. Translating the name into English is discouraged by the university, however paraphrasing as Berlin Institute of Technology is recommended by the university if necessary .The TU Berlin was founded...

.) in Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, named after Queen consort Sophia Charlotte...

. From 1933, he was also a lecturer at Berlin. While at Berlin, he did work on atomic physics and Dirac’s
Paul Dirac
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, OM, FRS was an English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics...

 theory of electrons.

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 came to power in Germany on 30 January 1933 and Max Born
Max Born
Max Born was a German-born physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 30s...

 took leave as director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the Georg-August University of Göttingen
Georg-August University of Göttingen
The University of Göttingen , known informally as Georgia Augusta, is a university in the city of Göttingen, Germany.Founded in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover, it opened for classes in 1737. The University of Göttingen soon grew in size and popularity...

 on 1 July of that year and emigrated to England. In 1934, Sauter, while only a Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

, was brought in to Göttingen as acting director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics and lecturer on theoretical physics; Born was officially retired under the Nuremberg Laws
Nuremberg Laws
The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating scientific racism and antisemitism...

 on 31 December 1935. Sauter continued in this role until 1936, when Becker was appointed director, after the Reichserziehungsministerium
Reichserziehungsministerium
The Reichserziehungsministerium was officially known as the Reichsministerium für Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung .-Background:...

 (Reich Education Ministry) eliminated his position at Berlin and reassigned him to Göttingen.

After Göttingen, Sauter took a teaching assignment and became acting director of the theoretical physics department at the University of Königsberg
University of Königsberg
The University of Königsberg was the university of Königsberg in East Prussia. It was founded in 1544 as second Protestant academy by Duke Albert of Prussia, and was commonly known as the Albertina....

. In 1939, he became ordinarius professor of theoretical physics and director of the theoretical physics department at Königsberg. From 1942 to 1945, Sauter was ordinarius professor of theoretical physics at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany...

.

From 1950 to 1951, Sauter had a teaching assignment and was substitute director of the theoretical physics department at Technische Hochschule Hanover
Leibniz University of Hannover
The University of Hanover, officially the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover or LUH, is a university located in Hanover, Germany. It was founded in 1831 and is one of the oldest universities focussing on science and technology in Germany...

. From 1951 to 1952, he had a teaching assignment at Göttingen and Bamberg Universities. In 1952, he became ordinarius professor and director of the theoretical physics department at the University of Cologne
University of Cologne
The University of Cologne is one of the oldest universities in Europe and, with over 44,000 students, one of the largest universities in Germany. The university is part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, an association of Germany's leading research universities...

, which he held until achieving emeritus status in 1971.

Having been a student of Sommerfeld, Sauter was a superb mathematician. He wrote his own book on differential equations of physics, and, after Sommerfeld’s death in 1951, Sauter was editor on the 4th, 5th, and 6th editions of Sommerfeld’s book on the same subject, and he was also editor of the four volume, collected works of Sommerfeld. Sauter was also editor of books by Becker, with whom he had been an assistant in Berlin.

Selected literature

  • Fritz Sauter Über das Verhalten eines Elektrons im homogenen elektrischen Feld nach der relativistischen Theorie Diracs, Zeitschrift für Physik 69 (11-12) 742-764 (1931). Author cited as being at Munich.

  • Fritz Sauter Über die Bremsstrahlung schneller Elektronen Annalen der Physik 412 (4) 404-412 (1934)

Books

  • Fritz Sauter Differentialgleichungen der Physik (de Gruyter, 1950, 1958, and 1966)

  • Arnold Sommerfeld, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Vorlesungen über theoretische Physik. Band 6: Partielle Differentialgleichungen der Physik. 4. Auflage, bearbeitet und ergänzt (Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1958)

  • Arnold Sommerfeld, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Vorlesungen über theoretische Physik. Bd. 6. Partielle Differentialgleichungen der Physik. 5. Auflage, bearbeitet und ergänzt (Akademische Verl. Ges., 1962)

  • Arnold Sommerfeld, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Vorlesungen über theoretische Physik. Band 6: Partielle Differentialgleichungen der Physik. 5. Auflage, bearbeitet und ergänzt (Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1962)

  • Richard Becker, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Theorie der Elektrizität. Bd. 1. Einführung in die Maxwellsche Theorie (Teubner, 1957, 1962, 1964, and 1969)
    • Richard Becker, author, Fritz Sauter, editor, and Ivor De Teissier, translator Electromagnetic Fields and Interactions, Volume I: Electromagnetic Theory and Relativity (Blaisdell, 1964)

  • Richard Becker, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Theorie der Elektrizität. Bd. 2. Einführung in die Quantentheorie der Atome und der Strahlung (Teubner, 1959, 1963, 1970, and 1997)
    • Richard Becker, author, Fritz Sauter, editor, and Ivor De Teissier, translator Electromagnetic Fields and Interactions, Volume II: Quantum Theory of Atoms and Radiation (Blaisdell, 1964)

  • Arnold Sommerfeld, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Vorlesungen über theoretische Physik. Band 6: Partielle Differentialgleichungen der Physik. 6. Auflage, bearbeitet und ergänzt (Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1966)

  • Fritz Sauter, editor Arnold Sommerfeld: Gesammelte Schriften, 4 Volumes (Braunschweig, 1968)

  • Richard Becker, author and Fritz Sauter, editor Theorie der Elektrizität. Bd. 3. Elektrodynamik der Materie (Teubner, 1969)