Friedrich Adolf Paneth
- September 17
) was an Austrian
chemist. Fleeing the Nazis, he escaped to Britain and became a British citizen in 1939 but returned as director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Life and Education
Friedrich Adolf Paneth was born as son of the physiologist Joseph Paneth
. He and his three bothers were brought up in protestant faith although both parents were of Jewish descent. He was educated in the Schotten gymnasium a renowned school in Vienna. He studied chemistry at the University of Vienna
and after working with Adolf von Baeyer
at the University of Munich
he received his PhD with Zdenko Hans Skraup
at the organic chemistry department of the University of Vienna in 1910.
He abandoned organic chemistry and joined the radiochemistry group of Stefan Meyer. In 1913 he visited Frederick Soddy at the University of Glasgow and Ernest Rutherford at the [University of Manchester]].
In this year he married Else Hartmann, they had a son and daughter. After his habilitation in 1913 he became assistant of Otto Hönigschmid at the University of Prague. From 1919 till 1933 he was professor in various German universities. (University of Hamburg 1919, Berlin University 1922, Königsberg University 1929).
In 1927 he published his results on the transformation of hydrogen to helium, now known as Cold fusion.
During Hitlers Machtergreifung in 1933 he was on a lecture tour in England and did not return to Germany. In 1939 he became professor at the University of Durham where he staid until his retirement in 1953.
A call to become director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz made him return to Germany. He worked in the Institute until his death in 1958.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1947. The mineral Panethite is named after him.
- Assistant in Radium Research Institute attached to Vienna Academy of Science, 1912
- Assistant professor, University of Hamburg, 1919
- Head of inorganic department of chemical institute, Berlin University, 1922
- Head of chemical institute, Königsberg University, 1929
- Reader in atomic chemistry, Imperial College London, 1938; among his assistants was Eugen Glueckauf
- Professor of chemistry, University of Durham, 1939
- Head of chemistry division of joint British-Canadian atomic energy team in Montreal, 1943-5
- Returned to Durham and established Londonderry Laboratory for radio-chemistry, heading it until retirement, 1953
He was considered the greatest authority of his time on volatile hydrides, and also made important contributions to the study of the stratosphere.