Horst Völz

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Horst Völz

Horst Völz (born May 3, 1930 in Bad Polzin , Pomerania Province ) is a German physicist and information scientist ; Developments in the field of magnetic storage technology as well as in the theory of information and communication .


Horst Völz was born in 1930 in Pomerania as the son of the roofer Oskar Völz and the housewife Berta Völz. From 1936 to 1945 he attended the local elementary and middle school. After the end of the war, he did reparation work for the Red Army for a year and had to leave Pomerania as a resettler in 1946 .

In Greifswald he attended secondary school from 1946 to 1950 until he graduated from high school . This was followed by a four-year physics degree at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald , and in 1952 he completed an apprenticeship as a radio mechanic, which he completed as a skilled worker. Völz finished his studies in 1954 as a graduate physicist with a thesis on RC vibration generators.

Between 1954 and 1959 he worked as an assistant and senior assistant at the Physics Institute of the University of Greifswald, where he received his doctorate in 1958 on the theory of frequency modulation in video storage . In 1959 he moved to Berlin to the German Academy of Sciences (DAW), which was renamed the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (AdW) in 1972. There he worked until 1989, in 1961 he became head of the magnetic signal storage unit and stayed for many years in this area of ​​work, which he significantly profiled. In 1964 he completed his habilitation at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB) with a paper on the expansion of information theory .

From 1967 he was director of the Institute for Optics and Spectroscopy of the DAW (today: Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short-Term Spectroscopy ). In 1968 he was appointed professor of the academy by the president of the DAW. A year later he became the founding director of the Central Institute for Cybernetics and Information Processes (ZKI) of the German Academy of Sciences (DAW President: Hermann Klare ). He held this management position until 1977, during which time he built up the ZKI with several departments. After retiring as director, Völz worked from 1977 as head of magnetic signal storage at the ZKI. His successor in office was Volker Kempe .

After technical and political disputes, the departure as director and later as division manager took place officially “at my own request”. From 1988 he worked briefly as a research assistant at the ZKI. In addition, in 1988 he was banned from lecturing at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

After the political change , Völz received a funding contract from KAI-Berlin (KAI eV - coordination and processing facility for the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR) from 1989 to 1992 as a rescue company for academy employees, and he taught at the Free University between 1992 and 1995 , among others at the work area information science as well as at the Technical University in Berlin.

Völz has been retired since 1995, but continues to work as a freelancer. This also includes courses at the Free University of Berlin (FUB), at the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB) in the field of media studies and at the German Filmschool Elstal and Babelsberg (HFF).

He is married to the singer Ruth Roma-Völz and has two daughters.

Work areas

Völz's main areas of work concern:

  • Theory of information and communication: including five extensive monographs. Courses FUB, TUB, HUB, Filmschool (HFF)
  • Storage technology: including four monographs, courses mainly at TUB, organization of several international conferences
  • Electronics: lectures at the HUB, physics section, extensive textbook with 5 editions; also: for media studies at the HUB 2012
  • Computer science: including approx. 70 programs on computer technology, lectures TUB, FUB, professional word processing for the small computer KC 85
  • Culture and information: including meetings of the Society for Computer Science (GI); Music college; Architecture; Book: Art and Computer, text graphics together with his wife Ruth Roma-Völz .

Völz has published his work results in an extensive scientific work and documented them in detail in his list of publications . These include in particular:

  • 45 books
  • 80 articles in books and reports
  • 250 magazine articles
  • 325 Public Lectures
  • numerous appearances on radio and television
  • 22 patents.

This makes Völz one of the most creative and well-published scientists in his field within information and communication sciences .

The following are outstanding examples of his scientific, technical and technological achievements:

  • Under his scientific direction, as part of the Kosmos project, the Kosmos tape storage systems were developed and built for all research satellites in the Soviet Union (70 of the R1 and R3m types). None of them ever caused a satellite failure (50% common in the US at the time).
  • Under his direction, the vapor-deposited metal thin-film tape was developed in cooperation with the Dresden research institute Manfred von Ardenne and partially used successfully in satellite storage. The Ardenne Institute later supplied corresponding evaporation systems to Japan on this basis , and there the professional "evaporated tapes" for video storage appeared about 10 years later (around 1985). The world's first publication appeared on this.
  • His word processing system "Texor" for the small computer KC 85 was used extensively and was also used throughout the GDR for training courses, especially for secretaries. The manufacturer in Mühlhausen achieved an annual turnover of 4 million marks in the GDR.


  • From 1959 to 1989 Völz belonged to several research institutes of the German Academy of Sciences (DAW) and the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (AdW) as a scientist and director.
  • Völz is an honorary member of the Chaos Computer Club .

Publications (selection)

  • 1974 Electronics - basics, principles, relationships. 5th edition. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag 1989, ISBN 3-05-500046-3
  • around 1980: Basics of magnetic signal storage. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 6 volumes
  • 1982: Information I. Study on the diversity and unity of information. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, ISSN  0232-1351
  • 1983: Information II. Supplementary volume on the diversity and unity of information. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, ISSN  0232-1351
  • 1987: Small encyclopedia of storage technology. Automation technology series, Vol. 224. 2nd edition. Berlin: Verlag Technik 1990, ISBN 3-341-00878-0
  • 1988: Computer and Art. Akzent series , Volume 87. Leipzig, Jena, Berlin: Urania-Verlag, ISBN 3-332-00220-1 , 2nd edition 1990 Digital version of the text as PDF, online
  • 1991: Basics of Information. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, ISBN 3-05-500779-4
  • 1994: Understanding Information. Facets of a new approach to the world. Braunschweig-Wiesbaden: Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, ISBN 3-528-05395-X
  • 1996: Information store. Basics - functions - devices. Renningen-Malmsheim: Expertverlag, ISBN 3-8169-1287-7 and Linde-Verlag, ISBN 3-85122-569-4
  • 1996: (with P. Ackermann): The world in numbers and scales. Heidelberg, Berlin, Oxford: Spectrum Academic Publishing House, ISBN 3-86025-118-X
  • 1999: The human-technology system. Physiological, physical and technical basics, software and hardware. Expert publishing house. ISBN 3-8169-1643-0
  • 1999: The man-machine system. Renningen-Malmsheim: Expert-Verlag, ISBN 3-8169-1643-0 and Linde-Verlag, ISBN 3-85122-863-4
  • 2001: Knowledge - Recognition - Information. General basics for science, technology and medicine. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 3-8265-9366-9 and CD-ROM Directmedia, ISBN 978-3-89853-559-5
  • Information storage manual:
  • 2007: Data storage from the Stone Age to the 21st century. Digital Library, Volume 159, Berlin
  • 2008: Continuous digital technology. A new high-performance method for digitizing signals. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8322-7798-7
  • 2014: Basics and contents of the four types of information. Wiesbaden: Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-658-06406-8
  • 2014: standards for time. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-2872-0
  • 2016: information, software, hardware. In: Frank Fuchs-Kittowski ; Werner Kriesel (Ed.): Computer science and society. Festschrift for the 80th birthday of Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski . Frankfurt a. M., Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Vienna: Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, PL Academic Research, ISBN 978-3-631-66719-4 (print), E- ISBN 978-3-653- 06277-9 (e-book)
  • 2017: This is information. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-5587-0
  • 2017: Information and storage theory. In: Stefan Höltgen (Ed.): Medientechnisches Wissen, Volume 1. Berlin: DeGruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-047748-1
  • 2018: How we got to know. Not everything is information. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-5865-9
  • 2018: Description of the world. Space, time, temperature and information - aspects, positions, debates. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-6323-3
  • 2019: this is time. Düren: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-6675-3
  • 2019: Storage as the basis for everything. Düren: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-6964-8
  • 2020: From information to creativity. Attempt to precisely define information, knowledge, thinking, intelligence and creativity. Düren: Shaker Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8440-7365-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Völz, Ardenne, Effenberger, Müller: Investigations into the production and properties of vapor-deposited magnetic layers as storage layers for magnetic tapes. IEEE Trans. Mag. MAG-2 (1966) 3, 202-205.