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Bohm, David Joseph (1917–1992), physicist and philosopher, was born on 20 December 1917 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, the son of Samuel Bohm, proprietor of a furniture store, and his wife, Freda. Both parents were immigrants from Europe, his father being born in the ...

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Born, Max (1882–1970), physicist, was born on 11 December 1882 at Wallstrasse 8, Breslau, then part of Germany (later Wrocław, Poland), the elder of the two children of Gustav Jakob Born (1851–1900), a professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau, and his first wife, ...

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Cahn, Robert Wolfgang (1924–2007), materials scientist, was born on 9 September 1924 in Fürth, Bavaria, the first of two children of Martin Cahn (1896–1963), accountant and merchant, and his wife, Else, née Heinemann (1896–1962). His family was Jewish, assimilated into the business community. His maternal grandfather, ...

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Robert Wolfgang Cahn (1924–2007) by Godfrey Argent, 1992 © Godfrey Argent Studio

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Domb, Cyril [later Cyril Yechiel Domb] (1920–2012), theoretical physicist and Jewish scholar, was born Cyril Dombrowsky at 166 Amhurst Road, Hackney, London, on 9 December 1920, the first child of Joel (or Yoel) Dombrowsky, cardboard box manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah, née...

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Sir (Harold) Montague Finniston (1912–1991) by Godfrey Argent Studios Godfrey Argent Studios / Royal Society

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Finniston, Sir (Harold) Montague [Monty] (1912–1991), metallurgist and businessman, was born at 26 Aikenhead Road, Govanhill, Glasgow, on 15 August 1912, the eldest child in the family of two sons and three daughters of Robert Finniston and his wife, Esther, née Diamond. Both parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants; the original family name was ...

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Rudolf Peierls

revised by Xavier Roqué

Frisch, Otto Robert (1904–1979), physicist, was born on 1 October 1904 in Vienna, the only son of Justinian Frisch (1879–1949), a printer, and his wife, Auguste Meitner (1877–1951), a gifted musician who started on a career as a concert pianist but gave it up on marriage. Her sister was the physicist ...

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Thomas Gold (1920–2004) by unknown photographer, 1968 Cornell University, Office of Visual Services; courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

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Gold, Thomas [Tommy] (1920–2004), astrophysicist, was born on 22 May 1920 in Vienna, Austria, the son of Max Gold, a wealthy industrialist and a director of Austria's largest mining company, and his wife, Josefine, née Martin, a former child actress. His early childhood was spent in a privileged environment, and it seemed natural that he would follow his father into business. However, the steep economic downturn in ...

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Heitler, Walter Heinrich (1904–1981), physicist, was born on 2 January 1904 in Karlsruhe, the second of three children and eldest son of Adolf Heitler, professor of engineering at the Technische Hochschule of Karlsruhe, and his wife, Ortilie Rudolf. He pursued a strong and independent interest in science in his youth, reading ...

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Kahn, Franz Daniel (1926–1998), astrophysicist and mathematician, was born on 13 May 1926 in Nuremberg, Germany, the only son and the younger child of Siegfried Kahn (1894–1967), a company director, and his wife, Grete, née Mann (1896–1980). His parents were German Jews; his father was a successful manufacturer of children's toys. In 1938 the family moved to ...

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Kompfner, Rudolf (1909–1977), electronics engineer and physicist, was born in Vienna on 16 May 1909, the only son and elder child of Bernhard Kömpfner, accountant, and his wife, Paula Grotte, of Vienna. In 1931 he graduated from the Technische Hochschule zu Wien with a diploma in engineering (architecture). This was a difficult time for Jews in ...

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Kronberger, Hans (1920–1970), physicist and nuclear reactor engineer, was born in Linz, Austria, on 28 July 1920, the younger child and only son of Norbert and Olga Kronberger. His parents were Jewish and his father had inherited the family leather merchant business. At the German invasion, ...

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Hans Kronberger (1920–1970) by Walter Bird Godfrey Argent Studios / Royal Society

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Lipson, Henry Solomon (1910–1991), physicist, was born on 11 March 1910 at 107 Wavertree Road, West Derby, Liverpool, the third and last child of Israel Lipson, shopkeeper, and his wife, Sarah, née Friedlander. All his grandparents were Polish Jewish emigrés who settled in ...

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London, Heinz (1907–1970), physicist, was born on 7 November 1907 at Bonn, the younger of the two sons of Franz London, mathematics professor at Bonn University, and his wife, Luise Hamburger (d. 1942). His father died when he was only nine and he was guided towards science by his brother, ...

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Lise Meitner (1878–1968) by Lotte Meitner-Graf © reserved; Bildarchiv Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

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Meitner, Lise (1878–1968), physicist, was born on 7 November 1878 at 27 Kaiser Josefstrasse, Vienna, the third of the eight children of Philipp Meitner (d. 1910), a lawyer, and his wife, Hedwig Skovran (1850–1924). Both parents were of Jewish descent, yet Meitner...

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Morris, Noah (1893–1947), biochemist and physician, was born on 4 October 1893 at 150 Stobcross Street, Glasgow, one of five children (four sons and a daughter) of Henry Morris, formerly Sachs, general dealer, later jeweller, and his wife, Sarah, née Gershuni or Gersuny...