Herwig Schopper

Herwig Schopper Francis ( born February 28, 1924 in Landskron in the Czech Republic ) is a German physicist and former director of CERN and DESY.

Life and work

Schopper received his Diploma in physics in 1949 at the University of Hamburg, where he received his doctorate in 1951. As a post-doc, he conducted research in Stockholm in Lise Meitner and the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in Otto Robert Frisch. There he led from 1957 one of the experiments that proved the violation of mirror symmetry ( parity). In 1954 he completed his habilitation at the University of Erlangen on optical topics. In the 1950s he developed with Clausnitzer and Rudolf Fleischmann, the first source of polarized protons, which was later installed at the cyclotron in Karlsruhe. 1958 to 1961 he was director of the Institute for Nuclear Physics at Mainz University ( and an associate professor in Mainz). 1960/61, he was at Cornell University, Robert R. Wilson. 1961 to 1973 he was director of the Institute for Experimental Nuclear Physics at the Technical University of Karlsruhe and the Nuclear Research Center and Associate Professor (from 1960) at the TH Karlsruhe. With a group he led from one of the first experiment at the German Electrical Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg. In Karlsruhe examined a group he initiated the first superconducting cavity resonators in Europe, which led to a collaboration with CERN. In Karlsruhe, he was also involved in various accelerator plans were not realized ( Electron Ring Accelerator ERA, and a 30 - GeV Proton Synchrotron ).

He worked from 1966 to 1967 as a visiting professor at CERN, where the so-called ' Hadron Calorimeter ' was invented for the detection of neutrons, then from 1970 to 1973 as head of the Division of Nuclear Physics and the Executive Board as executive director for the coordination of the experiments, Chairman of the ISR Committee ( Intersecting Storage Rings ) at CERN from 1973 to 1976, member of the Scientific Advisory Board (Scientific Policy Committee ) and finally as Director General from 1981 to 1988 at this time. LEP at CERN was approved and built.

From 1973 to 1980 he was Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Electron Synchrotron. At this time there the PETRA ring was built. From 1973 he was also a professor at the University of Hamburg.

As of 1999, Herwig Schopper sat for the establishment of the International Centre for Synchrotron - radiation for experimental applications in the Middle East ( SESAME ) in Jordan under the umbrella of UNESCO on the model of a CERN. The aim is to promote both the science in the Middle East, as also to contribute to peacemaking. Member countries were Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey and Cyprus. The Council of SESAME he faced since 2003.

1993 to 2002 he was in the Council of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research ( JINR ) in Dubna.

1977 to 1979 he was Chairman of the Working Group of large research institutions (now Helmholtz Association ). 1992 to 1994 he was president of the German Physical Society and from 1994 to 1996 the European Physical Society. He was a member of various advisory bodies of the Max Planck Society, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology, the European Union and UNESCO.


  • Great Federal Cross of Merit
  • Albert Einstein Gold Medal of UNESCO
  • Wilhelm Exner Medal ( Austria )
  • Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of Independence of Jordan's King Abdullah II,
  • Purkyne Medal of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
  • Big Sudeten German Culture Prize
  • Gold Medal of the Weizmann Institute
  • Physics Prize of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences
  • Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement
  • Niels Bohr Medal of UNESCO
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Cyprus
  • Golden Badge of Honor Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron DESY.
  • Honorary Member of the German Physical Society and the European Physical Society.
  • He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Erlangen, Moscow, Geneva and London, and the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russia) and the Institute of High Energy Physics ( Protvino in ) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He is a member of the Leopoldina, the Carus Medal he was awarded in 1957 and other German and international Academies of Sciences and Arts since 1967.


  • Scientific Publications. More than 200 original publications in optics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics and accelerator technology. Some of the most important works are:
  • Fleischmann R. and H. chopper, to determine the optical constants and thickness of the layer of absorbent layers by means of the measurement of the absolute phase change Z.Physik 129.285 (1951) (the first method for the measurement of the absolute phase by reflection of light on the thin metal layers )
  • H. Schopper, to explain the optical constants of the alkali metals, Z.Physik 135, 163 ( 1953) ( the abnormal optical behavior of alkali metal layers does not require a particular physical state of the metal)
  • H. Schopper, Circular polarization of gamma -rays: Further proof for parity failure in beta- decay, Phil.Mag. 2, 710 ( 1957) ( One of the most discussed by Lee and Yang experiments, but this was considered impracticable. Was the first time it was shown in the same experiment that the helicity of the neutrino and antineutrino are opposite. )
  • G. Clausnitzer, R. Fleischmann and H. Schopper, generating a hydrogen atom beam with parallel nuclear spins, Z.Physik 144, 336 (1956 )
  • H. Schopper and S. Galster, The circular polarization of internal and external bremsstrahlung, Nucl.Phys. 6, 125 (1958) ( First measurement of the circular polarization of internal bremsstrahlung of beta decay )
  • J. Halbritter, R. Hietschold, P. Kneisel, and H. Schopper, Coupling losses and the measurement of Q -values ​​of superconducting cavities, KFK -report Karlsruhe 3/86-6 ( 1968) ( early release for the study of superconducting cavities for the acceleration of particles )
  • R. M. Littauer, H. Schopper, R. R. Wilson, form factors of the proton and neutron, Phys.Rev.Lett. 6, 286 (1961 ) (measurement of nuclear form factors, correction of the first measurements of R. Hofstadter )
  • J.Engler, W. Flauger, B. Gibbard, F. Monnig, K. Runge and Herwig Schopper,
  • A total absorption spectrometer for energy measurements of high-energy particles, Nucl.Instr.Meth. 106, 189 (1973 ) (First use and optimization of a ' hadron calorimeter ')
  • V.Boehmer et al., Neutron - proton elastic scattering from 10 to 70 GeV / c, Nucl.Phys. B91, 266 (1975 ) and other publications ( neutron-proton scattering at high energies at the ISR at CERN and at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Russia)
  • L3 Collaboration, Upsilon Production in Z Decays, Phys.Lett. B 413, 167 (1997) and Heavy Quarkonium Production in Z Decays, Phys.Lett.B in print ( Schopper was principal author of these publications )
  • Various articles about research policy, science and religion, science and society
  • H.Schopper, Weak Interactions and Nuclear Beta Decay, North - Holland Publishing, 1966
  • H.Schopper, matter and antimatter, Pieper Verlag, 1989
  • Editor of Springer Materials, Landolt- Bornstein, nuclear and elementary particle physics
  • Co-editor of several books