Hans Georg Dehmelt Biography
Birthday: September 9, 1922 (Virgo)
Born In: Görlitz, Germany
Hans Georg Dehmelt is a German-born American physicist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1989, for co-developing the ion trap technique, popularly called Penning trap, with Wolfgang Paul. The duo shared one half of the prize as the other half was awarded to Norman Foster Ramsey. The Penning trap is an electromagnetic device that can hold small numbers of ions or electrically charged atoms and electrons for long periods of time, thus allowing the study of their properties. Though Dehmelt discovered the Penning trap in the 1950s, it was only in early 1970s that he put the device to use. He isolated a single electron for observation, an unprecedented feat that opened the way for the precise measurement of key properties of electrons. However, this wasn’t all as Dehmelt also developed methods for measuring atomic frequencies and individual quantum jumps with unprecedented precision. Dehmelt’s love for physics started early. He soon found himself deeply embroiled in physics principles and properties and no sooner made the subject his academic pursuit. Apart from scientific research, Dehmelt has chaired several academic positions. He served as the professor of physics at the University of Washington since 1961, duly retiring from the educational organisation in 2002 as Professor Emeritus.