Gregor Wentzel ( born February 17, 1898 in Dusseldorf, † August 12 1978 in Ascona ) was a German theoretical physicist.
Wentzel studied in Freiburg and Greifswald in 1920 and in Munich under Arnold Sommerfeld, where he met Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg in 1921 and received his doctorate. In 1922 he qualified as a professor in Munich and in 1926 Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig.
Wentzel 1928 Erwin Schrödinger's successor at the University of Zurich and Zurich made together with Wolfgang Pauli, the professor at the ETH Zurich in the same year, an international center of theoretical physics. In 1933 his article " wave mechanics of the shock and radiation processes ," in Encyclopedia of Physics. His "Introduction to the quantum theory of wave fields " from 1943 was to revolutionizing quantum field theory by Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger and others, which began in the late 1940s, the leading textbook. During the war he took over the lectures by Wolfgang Pauli at the ETH. From 1948, he was until his retirement in 1969 professor at the University of Chicago ( then as Professor Emeritus until his death).
He has been a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin -Madison (1930 ), Purdue University ( 1947), Stanford University (1949 ), at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (1951 ) and at the University of California, Berkeley ( 1954). In 1975 he received the Max Planck Medal. AB 1959 he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Wentzel is with Hendrik Anthony Kramers and Leon Brillouin one of the inventors of the WKB approximation in quantum mechanics.