Friedrich Paneth

Adolf Friedrich (Fritz) Paneth ( born August 31, 1887 in Vienna, † September 17, 1958 ) was a German -Austrian chemist. He was the son of the physiologist Joseph Paneth.

Life and work

After school he studied from 1906 to 1910 in Vienna and Munich chemistry. In 1913 he went to Frederick Soddy at the University of Glasgow. Following his Habilitation in Vienna, he became an assistant to Otto Hönigschmid in Prague. Subsequently, he was a professor in Hamburg, Berlin and Königsberg. After the seizure of power by the Nazis as he had (Protestant baptized ) Jew to give up his professorship in 1933 and emigrated to England. From 1939 to 1953 he was a professor at the University of Durham. Then he took over as director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry ( Otto -Hahn- Institut) in Mainz succeeded Fritz Strassmann and built a new Department of Cosmochemistry, which dealt with meteorite research.

Paneth's main areas of work were the radiochemistry, especially the tracer method, which he developed in collaboration with George de Hevesy, and he founded cosmochemistry and gas microanalysis. In him also a detection method for organic radicals goes back by metal mirrors. In this method, TML is decomposed at elevated temperatures to form elemental lead and methyl groups in a quartz tube. Gaseous methyl radicals are transported to another section of the chamber with a carrier gas. There they react with a metal mirror made ​​of lead, which is gradually dissolved

He was one of the drafters of the Declaration of Göttingen Eighteen nuclear scientists against nuclear armament of the Bundeswehr and for a peaceful use of nuclear energy on 12 April 1957.


In his honor, a lunar crater is named. In 1963 ( 22nd District ) was named after him in the Panethgasse Vienna Danube city.

A Colloquium for Young Scientists also bears his name and are carried out routinely held in Nördlingen.

Major works

  • Textbook of radioactivity, 1923
  • Radio - Elements as Indicators and other Selected Topics in Inorganic Chemistry, 1928
  • The Origin of Meteorites, 1940