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Kurt Mendelssohn

Born January 7, 1906(1906-01-07)
Berlin, Germany
Died September 18, 1980 (aged 74)
Oxford, UK
Residence United Kingdom
Citizenship British
Ethnicity German-Jewish
Fields Physicist
Institutions University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Franz Eugen Simon
Other academic advisors Max Planck
Walther Nernst
Erwin Schrödinger
Albert Einstein
Doctoral students Harold Max Rosenberg
J. G. Daunt
B. S. Chandrasekhar, physicist
Influenced David Stanley Evans
Notable awards Hughes Medal (1967)
Signature


Kurt Alfred Georg Mendelssohn FRS (7 January 1906-18 September 1980) was a German-born British medical physicist, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society 1951.

He was a great-great-grandson of Saul Mendelssohn, the younger brother of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.[1] He received a doctorate in physics from the University of Berlin, having studied under Max Planck, Walther Nernst, Erwin Schrödinger, and Albert Einstein. Leaving Germany at the advent of the Nazi regime in 1933, he went to England. He worked at the University of Oxford from 1933. He was Reader in Physics there, 1955-1973, Emeritus Reader, 1973; Emeritus Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, 1973 (Professorial Fellow, 1971-1973).

His scientific work included low temperature physics, transuranic elements, and medical physics.

He was awarded the Royal Society's Hughes Medal.

In 1974, he published The Riddle of the Pyramids, in which he sought to explain the whys and wherefores of the earliest Egyptian pyramids. His principal thesis was that the pyramid at Meidum had collapsed during construction, a conclusion he arrived at utilizing his knowledge of physics. Working from that conclusion, he further elaborated a theory that pyramid construction in Egypt took on a life of its own during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, more or less independently of the reigns of pharaohs. His theory has not been taken up by the Egyptological community, but the book remains a stimulating and detailed study of the Egyptian pyramids.

Books by Mendelssohn

  • The Riddle of the Pyramids. Thames & Hudson, 1974; Sphere Cardinal Edition, 1976.
  • The Quest for Absolute Zero.
  • In China Now.
  • The World of Walther Nernst.
  • Science and Western Domination, Thames & Hudson, 1976.

References

  1. ^ nndb.com. Retrieved on 4 May 2009.
  • D. Schoenberg, "Kurt Alfred Georg Mendelssohn," Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 29, pp. 361-398, 1983.

External links

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