Winterberg received his physics diploma in 1953 from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main with Friedrich Hund and received his doctorate in 1955 in Munich with Werner Heisenberg . From 1955 to 1959 he was group leader at the Geesthacht research reactor with Kurt Diebner (he helped develop the concept for the reactor-powered Otto Hahn ). In 1959 he went to the USA and was assistant professor of physics at the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland (Ohio) until 1963 . Since 1963 he has been Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Nevada, Reno . He became a US citizen in 1968.
Winterberg occupied a. a. with general relativity and plasma physics . He has also published numerous articles on inertial fusion concepts and alternative concepts for hydrogen bombs . He and Kurt Diebner applied for a patent for the first such concepts as early as 1956. At the end of the 1970s, at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, he suggested the use of nuclear-ignited laser weapons for missile defense. The concept was introduced in the 1980s in the " Star Wars program " of the Reagan government by Peter Hagelstein et al. a. tracked. Winterberg himself never worked in the US government's weapons program and therefore does not have to adhere to any confidentiality clauses.
In 1954 he proposed testing the general theory of relativity with atomic clocks in earth satellites (Astronautica Acta 1955), a concept that was later implemented in the GPS system. In 1963 he proposed a method to test Walter Elsasser's dynamo concept of the origin of planetary and solar magnetic fields.
In the 1950s, he proposed a spaceship drive via thermonuclear micro-explosions that should also be suitable for interstellar travel . For his work on nuclear propulsion in space travel, he received the Herman Oberth Gold Medal from the "Herman Oberth-Wernher von Braun International Space Flight Foundation" in 1979. He is a member of the International Astronautical Academy in Paris, where he was a member of the Committee for Interstellar Space Travel, and an honorary member of the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth .
In 1983 Winterberg took part in public discussions about the expulsion and withdrawal of US citizenship operated by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) for Arthur Rudolph , the main designer of the Saturn V rockets that made the moon landing possible. Rudolph was accused of involvement in war crimes while developing German missile weapons in World War II - Rudolph was director of the " Mittelwerke " in the Harz from 1943 to 1945 . Rudolph was exonerated, but had to leave the USA and again took on German citizenship. Winterberg vehemently stood up for Rudolph in the US public and rejected a. a. 1992 indicated that the OSI had requested documents from GDR authorities.
Winterberg also became known for his participation in the dispute over the Hilbert-Einstein priority dispute. It is about who first set up the field equations of general relativity in 1915: David Hilbert's and Albert Einstein's works appeared almost simultaneously, but Hilbert's article was dated a little earlier, which is why he was given priority or the independent derivation of the field equations for a long time. In 1997 Leo Corry, Jürgen Renn and John Stachel published an article in Science in which they referred to the proofs of Hilbert's treatise that they had found in the Göttingen State and University Library , which were supposed to show that, to the knowledge of Einstein's work (which first published) changed his essay. In contrast to the published article, the explicit field equations were still missing in the proofs. In doing so, however, they failed to point out that the proofs themselves were incomplete - about two pages were cut out with scissors. Winterberg published this in 2004 in the Zeitschrift für Naturforschung A , presented it at the spring meeting of the APS 2005 in Tampa and underlined that the field equations were also implicitly available at Hilbert. At the same time he indicated that the manipulated flag corrections could be intended to be forgery. Winterberg received support from studies by the science historian Daniela Wuensch , who argued by carefully examining the proofs that the missing pages were cut out much later.
- Homepage at the University of Nevada ( Memento from June 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Interview with Winterberg 2003
- Page dedicated to him with a list of publications
- Interview by Petermann with Winterberg, with curriculum vitae ( Memento from May 4, 2006 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 97 kB)
- various articles z. B. in Nature 1975, Physical Review, Atomkernenergie, and his book The physical principles of thermonuclear explosive devices . Fusion Energy Foundation, New York 1981. The Fusion Energy Foundation is part of Lyndon LaRouche's organizations
- See shaped charge
- Interview with Petermann 2005. In 1970 he turned down an offer (on the initiative of Glenn Seaborg ) to become an advisor to the US Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear weapons
- Winterberg: Experimental Test for the Dynamo Theory of Earth and Stellar Magnetism . In: Physical Review , Volume 131, 1963, p. 29
- The work was cited in the Daedalus project on nuclear rocket propulsion.
- Award - DGLR honorary membership. In: dglr.de. Retrieved February 22, 2018 .
- regards the mathematical form of the field equations and their derivation from a variation principle. The physical interpretation was and is credited to Einstein.
- Corry, Renn und Stachel: Belated Decision in the Hilbert-Einstein Priority Dispute . In: Science . Volume 278, 1997, pp. 1270-1274
- F. Winterberg: On "Belated Decision in the Hilbert-Einstein Priority Dispute", published by L. Corry, J. Renn, and J. Stachel. In: Journal of Nature Research A . 59, 2004, pp. 715–719 ( PDF , free full text). Winterberg also complained that Science refused to print his article
- Daniela Wuensch: Two real guys . 2nd Edition. Termessos Publishing House, 2007
- After 1985. Hilbert later sent the proofs to Felix Klein , but expressly asked them to be returned
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German-born American physicist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 12, 1929|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Berlin|