Carl Ramsauer

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Ramsauer 1928

Carl Wilhelm Ramsauer (born February 6, 1879 in Osternburg , † December 24, 1955 in Berlin ) was a German physicist. The Ramsauer effect , which he discovered in 1920, is considered the first experimental indication of the wave nature of the electron .


Ramsauer comes from a family of pastors and teachers in Oldenburg and attended the old grammar school in Oldenburg until 1897 . He studied mathematics and physics in Munich , Tübingen , Berlin and most recently Kiel , where he received his doctorate in 1903. From 1902 to 1906 he worked at the Imperial Torpedo Laboratory in Kiel and then at the Radiological Institute in Heidelberg , which was headed by Nobel Prize winner Philipp Lenard . There he completed his habilitation in 1909 and was appointed associate professor in 1915. In 1920 he discovered the effect, which is unusual from a classical perspective , that slow electrons can penetrate a gas better than fast electrons. It was the first experimental indication of the wave nature of the electron, which could only be correctly interpreted with the thesis of matter waves by de Louis de Broglie in 1924. Ramsauer's investigations were of great importance for the development of quantum mechanics and went down in physics history as the Ramsauer effect .

In 1921 he was appointed full professor of experimental physics at the Technical University of Danzig and in 1928 went to Berlin to found the central AEG research laboratory. He took his student Ernst Brüche with him, who headed the physical laboratory and developed the electrostatic electron microscope there in 1939 . Under Ramsauer's leadership and with the active support of AEG's deputy chairman, Waldemar Petersen , the AEG research institute, leading in infrared and guided missile technology, developed in the war years, from which the AEG Group also benefited after the war.

In 1939 he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1941 the German Physical Society elected him its chairman. After he had been honorary professor at the TH Berlin from 1931 , he was appointed full professor in 1945. He devoted the last years of his life to improving physics education and studying the history of physics. He died in Berlin in 1955. His grave is in Paulinenaue in Havelland .

He was one of the editors of the journal for technical physics .




  • About the ricochet shot, dissertation 1903 ( digitized version )
  • Basic experiments in physics in historical representation, 2 volumes, Springer Verlag 1953
  • Cross section of the noble gases against slow electrons, Ostwald's classic, Geest and Portig, Leipzig 1954 (with Rudolf Kollath, editor Ernst Brüche)
  • Physics, technology, education: experiences and memories, Karlsruhe: Braun 1949

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 196.