Wolfhart Zimmermann

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Wolfhart Zimmermann (born February 17, 1928 in Freiburg im Breisgau ; † September 18, 2016 ) was a German theoretical physicist.

Zimmermann studied at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg im Breisgau and began his dissertation in topology (“A cohomology theory of topological spaces”) with Emanuel Sperner . After he was called away, he graduated from Wilhelm Süss in 1950 . In the 1950s he was one of the pioneers of mathematical quantum field theory in Göttingen when he developed the " LSZ theory " together with Kurt Symanzik and Harry Lehmann at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen . In the early 1960s he was a professor in Graz. From 1962 to 1974 he taught as a professor at New York University . From 1974 he was a scientific member and from 1991 director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, where he was most recently “Director Emeritus” (he retired in 1996). In addition, he has been an honorary professor at the Technical University of Munich since 1977 . He completed guest stays a. a. at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1957/8 and 1960/1), at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University , at the University of Chicago and at IHES near Paris .

In addition to his work on the LSZ formalism, he was also known for developing the Bogoljubow- Parasiuk renormalization scheme (also known as the BPHZ renormalization scheme after Klaus Hepp and Zimmermann). Together with Kenneth Wilson he was one of the pioneers in the application of operator product development in quantum field theory. With Reinhard Oehme from the Enrico Fermi Institute in Chicago (he had already worked with him in Göttingen in the 1950s), he worked on the reduction of coupling parameters with renormalization group methods and introduced super- convergence relations for propagators in Yang-Mills theories , establish the connections between the borderline cases of high energy (e.g. asymptotic freedom) and low energy (assumed confinement).

In 1991 he received the Max Planck Medal .


  • Peter Breitenlohner (Ed.): Quantum Field Theory- Proceedings on the Ringberg Workshop, Tegernsee 1998, On the Occasion of Wolfhart Zimmermann´s 70th Birthday , Lecture Notes in Physics 558, Springer, 1998.
  • Zimmermann: Local operator products and renormalization in Quantum Field Theory , Brandeis Summer Institute in Theoretical Physics Lectures 1970, pp. 399-589.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Obituary for Zimmermann of the MPI for Physics ( memento of the original from September 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed September 22, 2016.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.mpp.mpg.de
  2. Wolfgang Hollik, Erhard Seiler, Klaus Sibold: Obituary for Wolfhart Zimmermann . In: Physics Journal . tape 15 , no. 12 , 2016, p. 50 .
  3. Wolfhart Zimmermann in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English)Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / id used
  4. Zimmermann: Convergence of Bogoljubows Method of renormalization in momentum space , Communications in mathematical physics, Vol. 15, 1969, p. 208.
  5. K. Wilson and W. Zimmermann: Operator product expansions and composite field operators in the general framework of quantum field theory , Commun. Math. Phys. 24 (1972), p. 87.
  6. Zimmermann: Reduction in the number of coupling parameters , Communications in Mathematical Physics, Vol. 97, 1985, p. 211.
    Oehme, Zimmermann: Relations Between Effective Couplings for Asymptotically Free Models , ibid. P. 586.
  7. Oehme, Zimmermann: Quark and Gluon Propagators in Quantum Chromodynamics , Gauge field propagator and the number of fermion fields , Physical Review D, Vol. 21, 1980, p. 471 and p. 1661.