Alfred Kastler

Alfred Kastler ( May 3, 1902 in Gebweiler, Alsace, † January 7, 1984 in Bandol ) was in what was then the German Reich belonging Alsace -born French physicist and received the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Life and work

Kastler attended the Lycée Bartholdi in Colmar. In 1921 he entered Paris in the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS ). After his studies he worked from 1926 as a physics teacher at the secondary school (Gymnasium) of Mulhouse, Colmar and then in Bordeaux. 1931 to 1936 he was assistant to Pierre dAure at the Faculté de Science ( University ) Bordeaux, where he ( after a period of two years as a lecturer from 1936 to 1938 in Clermont- Ferrand ) was from 1938 to 1941 professor. During his time in Bordeaux, he became a specialist in atomic spectroscopy ( Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy). In 1941 he was invited by Georges Bruhat to Paris to provisionally to conduct first the physics department at the ENS. In 1952 he was appointed professor at the Faculté de Science in Paris. 1953/54, he was a visiting professor at Louvain.

Kastler developed in collaboration with Jean Brossel important spectroscopic methods in atomic physics, such as the double-resonance method ( coupling of optical excitation and microwave excitation ) and especially the effect of " optical pumping ". This provided the basis for the theory of the maser and the laser. He was director of the Laboratoire de Spectroscopie hertzienne the ENS from 1951 until his resignation in 1972 ( after Brossel was the director after he was previously Deputy Director ). Today, the lab is named after Kastler and Brossel.

Kastler received honorary doctorates from Pisa ( 1960), Oxford ( 1966) and Lions ( 1955). He was an honorary member of the French and Polish physical societies and the Optical Society of America, the Mees Medal he received in 1962. In 1954 he received the Holweck Prize of the French and English physical societies. Since 1964 he was a member of the French Academy of Sciences ( Académie des sciences ). He also was a member of the Belgian Academy of Sciences. In 1965 he received the Gold Medal of the CNRS. In addition, Kastler was a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina - National Academy of Sciences.

In 1966 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of new spectroscopic methods.

Alfred Kastler was also a poet and wrote Europe ma Patrie - German Songs of French Europeans - Librairie Martin Nimble - Paris. In 1979, he cautioned against the damaging global consequences of industrial animal farming (especially for the countries of the Third World ) and pointed to the associated animal suffering.

He was married since 1924 with the history teacher Elise Cosset, with whom he had three children, including the physicist Daniel Kastler.