This coat-of-arms of physicist
Carl von Weizsäcker
is a copyrighted image drawn by the renowned heraldic artist
Carl-Alexander von Volborth (1919-2009).
Azure from a terrace Vert issuant three wheat stalks Or.
Crest[?]: A man issuant holding in his right hand three wheat stalks Or,
his left hand on his hip. ["Die Weiszäckers" by Martin Wein, p. 19. Cf. F. Velde]
German blazon, courtesy of Jochen Wilke :
Blau, drei goldene Weizenhalme aus grünem Schildfuß wachsend.
(In Anglo-French style: Blau, drei Weizenhalme Gold, wachsend aus Schildfuß Grün.)
The von Weizsäcker Family :
- The father of Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker was Ernst Freiherr von Weizsäcker (1882-1951) a career diplomat who served as a high-ranking officer inside Hitler's wartime Foreign Office. He has been credited for successfully working against some nazi excesses. Nevertheless, he was tried for war crimes at Nürnberg in 1948, among 20 other prominent economists and diplomats. Ernst von Weizsäcker was handed down a harsh sentence in 1949, which was reduced in 1950, a few months before his death.
- Carl's younger brother, Richard von Weizsäcker (b. April 15, 1920) was the sixth president of the Federal Republic of Germany, from 1984 to 1994.
The Life and Times of Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker :
- Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker was born in Kiel on June 28, 1912.
- Carl studied physics from 1929 to 1933 at the Universities of Berlin, Göttingen and Leipzig. His advisor at Göttingen was Friedrich Hund (1896-1997) of Hund's rules fame.
- In 1937, von Weizsäcker proposed that atmospheric argon ( 40Ar) came from the decay of 40K (radioactive potassium) over geological time. Radioactive potassium decays with a half-life of about 1.277 10 9 years, either (11%) into argon-40 by electron capture, or (89%) into calcium-40 by electron emission. This is the basis for what has evolved into the K-Ar technique, one of the most useful dating methods for rocks. The method can pinpoint the time elapsed since a crystal formed from a degassed liquid (in a range going from the age of the Earth [4.54 Ga] down to 50 000 years or so).
- In 1938, Hans A. Bethe (1906-2005, Nobel 1967) and Carl von Weizsäcker presented the basic nuclear processes which power the stars: The proton-proton chain and the CNO cycle.
- In 1938, his first son was born: Carl Christian would become a professor of political economy.
- On June 25, 1939, his son Ernst Ulrich was born. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is a politician who joined the SPD in 1966 and has served in the German parliament from 1998 to 2005. Since then, he has been serving in an administrative capacity at UCSB.
- In his famous letter to F.D. Roosevelt, calling for A-bomb research (dated August 2, 1939) Albert Einstein mentions only one German scientist... At the very end of his letter, Einstein states [as a possible explanation for the German embargo on Czechoslovakian uranium] that:[...] the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin, where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.
- In 1940, Carl von Weizsäcker joined the German atomic bomb project led by Werner Heisenberg. In 1945, he was detained at Farm Hall, (Cambridge) with other noted members of that research team, including Walter Gerlach, Otto Hahn, Max von Laue and Karl Wirtz.
- After the war, Carl von Weizsäcker returned to Germany and headed a department of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, in Göttingen.
- From 1957 to 1969, he was professor of philosophy at the University of Hamburg.
- From 1970 to 1980, he was head of the Max Planck Institute for the Research of Living Conditions in the Modern World, in Starnberg.
- At that time, Weizsäcker created, with Gopi Krishna, a research foundation for western sciences and eastern wisdom.
- Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker passed away on April 28, 2007, in Söcking, near Starnberg.
The Nazi Bomb|
(History Channel video)
[ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]