Arnold Sommerfeld was a theoretical physicist, who established the azimuthal and spin quantum numbers, and mathematical proof of X-ray wave theory

@Scientists, Career and Facts

Arnold Sommerfeld was a theoretical physicist, who established the azimuthal and spin quantum numbers, and mathematical proof of X-ray wave theory

- Birthday: December 5, 1868
- Died on: April 26, 1951
- Nationality: German
- Famous: Scientists, Physicists
- Universities:
- University of Königsberg

- Cause of death: Accident
- Birth Place: Königsberg

Arnold Sommerfeld born at

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Birth Place

During his stay at Gottingen, Arnold took a liking to Johanna Höpfner, but his financial condition proved a hindrance and he was deemed unsuitable for Johanna. Thus Sommerfeld took up a high paying job of mathematics professor in Clausthal. Johanna and Arnold then entered the wedlock and they were blessed with four children.

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Personal Life

The pioneering scientist lost his life in a road accident on 26 April 1951 while he was out on a stroll with his grandchildren.

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Personal Life

This famous scientist is the eponym for the ‘Center of Theoretical Physics’ in the University of Munich.

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Personal Life

Arnold Sommerfeld was born, to parents Cäcile Matthias and Franz Sommerfeld, on 5 December 1868, in the East Prussian city of Königsberg. Franz who belonged to an affluent and influential family was a medical practitioner.

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Childhood & Early Life

Sommerfeld attended High School at the ‘Altstädtisches Gymnasium’ in 1875; German physicist Wilhelm Wien and German mathematician Hermann Minkowski were his seniors at the school.

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Childhood & Early Life

After completing his matriculation in 1886, he pursued higher education at the ‘University of Königsberg’. Though his primary interest was in studying mathematics he also engaged in courses such as natural sciences, philosophy, and political economy at the University.

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Childhood & Early Life

It was under the tutelage of expert mathematicians like Hilbert, Hurwitz and Lindemann that Sommerfeld finally decided to conduct research on pure mathematics for his dissertation.

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Childhood & Early Life

His thesis catered to Eigen functions and partial differential equations and was titled ‘Die willkürlichen Functionen in der mathematischen Physik’ (The arbitrary functions in mathematical physics). In 1891, this bright upcoming mathematician received a doctorate from the ‘University of Königsberg’.

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Childhood & Early Life

Sommerfeld moved to Gottingen in 1893, as it was where many of the great mathematical minds resided and thus the town had evolved as "the core of mathematical development" in Germany. To earn a living, this budding mathematician then took up the job of an assistant at the ‘Mineralogical Institute’.

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Career

In Gottingen, Arnold had the opportunity to make an acquaintance with the renowned German mathematician Felix Klein, who was known for his work on complex analysis and non-Euclidean geometry.

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Career

Klein eventually accepted Sommerfeld as his apprentice and following in the footsteps of the eminent mathematician, this emerging genius produced his second work. The discourse on ‘mathematical theory of diffraction’ also involved partial differential equations.

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Career

In further continuation to his work on ‘mathematical theory of diffraction’, this brilliant mathematician conducted his own research and submitted his thesis. His research work qualified for achieving the highest academic qualification in the country and he was designated as a ‘Privatdozent’ in 1895. This academic honour bestowed upon him allowed him to teach at University level.

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Career

Starting in 1895-96, Klein and Sommerfeld began a 13 year long mathematical alliance, which resulted in a four volume text ‘Die Theorie des Kreisels’. The compilation dealt with theory of rotating bodies and application of mathematical theory to geophysics, astronomy and technology.

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Career

This eminent scientist was conferred with many awards and honours throughout his life. He was a member of the prestigious ‘Royal Society of London’, ‘Indian Academy of Sciences’, ‘Russian Academy of Sciences’ and the ‘United States National Academy of Sciences’.

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Awards & Achievements

He had received honorary degrees from the Universities of Athens, Calcutta, Rostock and Aachen.

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Awards & Achievements

The famous physicist was honoured with the ‘Max-Palnck Medal’, ‘Lorentz Medal’ and the ‘Oersted Medal’ for his outstanding contribution to the world of physics.

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Awards & Achievements