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Johannes Stark
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Scientist
    (April 15, 1874-June 21, 1957)
    Born in Freihung, Bavaria, Germany
    Physicist
    Won the 1919 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the Stark effect: the splitting and shifting of the spectra of atoms and molecules by electric fields
    Joined the Nazi Party (1930)
    Wrote 'The Present Crisis in German Physics' (1922) and 'National Socialism and Science' (1934)
    He quit as a professor of physics to start his own porcelain manufacturing business (1922), which soon failed.
    He tried to return to academia, which was hampered by his refusal to accept relativity and quantum mechanics, resulting in his being rejected by six German universities in six years.
    He was finally able to get a position as head of the Physical and Technical Institute of the German Reich after the Nazis took power (1933).
    He used his position to attack the 'Jewish physics' of relativity and quantum mechanics and to demand that only ethic Germans be allowed to hold academic positions.
    He called Werner Heisenberg a 'white Jew' after Heisenberg defended Einstein's theories.
    He was sentenced to four years at hard labor by a de-Nazification court (1947).
    Despite his later attacks on relativity, when he was editor of the 'Yearbook of Radioactivity and Electronics,' he maintained a cordial correspondence with Einstein.
    His hobbies included forestry and cultivating fruit trees.
    A crater on the Moon is named after him.

Credit: C. Fishel


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