Res Jost

Res Jost ( born January 10, 1918 in Bern, † October 3, 1990 in Zurich ) was a Swiss theoretical physicist who worked mainly on constructive quantum field theory.

Life and work

Jost studied in Bern and at the University of Zurich, where he received his doctorate in 1946 with Gregor Wentzel ( "On the charge dependence of nuclear forces in the Vektormesontheorie without neutral mesons "). Jost went half a year to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, where he introduced his namesake Jost function in a work on scattering theory. After that he was in Zurich assistant to Wolfgang Pauli. 1949-1955, 1957, 1962/3 and 1968 he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he among other things, worked with Walter Kohn, Joaquin Mazdak Luttinger and Abraham Pais. He was since 1955 an associate professor of theoretical physics at ETH Zurich and from 1959 professor. Jost founded in 1965 together with Rudolf Haag the journal " Communications in Mathematical Physics ".

Jost established at ETH a school of mathematical physics. His doctoral included Sergio Albeverio ( b. 1939 ), Klaus Hepp (* 1936), Konrad Osterwalder, David Ruelle, Robert Schrader, Eduard Zehnder, Ruedi Seiler ( Seiler Rudolf ), Martin Kummer.

Jost research at the quantum mechanical scattering theory (also inverse scattering theory: reconstruction of potentials from phase shifts ) and the mathematical quantum field theory, where he in 1958 with the methods of Arthur Strong Wightman proved the PCT theorem and 1957, the Jost -Lehmann -Dyson representation ( an integral representation of the expectation value of the commutator of two field operators ) introduced.

Jost was a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. In 1984 he received the Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society and an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern.

Jost was married to the Viennese physicist Hilde butcher since 1949. A pastime of Jost was the cultivation of mushrooms.


  • Jost: The general theory of quantized fields, AMS, 1965
  • Jost: The Tale of the ivory tower. Speeches and essays, Springer 1995 ( Edited by Klaus Hepp, including on the History of Physics at Planck, Einstein, Faraday, Dirac, Mach, with a biographical note by Abraham Pais and autobiographical of Jost ), ISBN 3-540-594760
  • Memories: Exquisite and experiences, Phys. Sheets, 40, 1984, No. 7, pp. 178-181