The first Nobel Prize

1954

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Photo: Walther Bothe, Archives of the Max Planck Society.

The physicist Walther Bothe won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954. This was the first Nobel Prize for the young MPG. Bothe had arrived at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Medical Science in Heidelberg in 1934, where he conducted crucial research on nuclear physics and radioactivity. This new area of research developed at such a tremendous pace that Bothe’s department became an independent Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in 1958. Together with Max Born, Bothe received the Nobel Prize for the development of the coincidence method, which fundamentally improved the measuring and thus the study of radiation phenomena.

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