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Friedrich_Hund

Friedrich Hund

Friedrich Hund (4 February 1896 - 31 March 1997) was a German physicist from Karlsruhe known for his work on atoms and molecules.

Hund worked at the Universities of Rostock, Leipzig, Jena, Frankfurt am Main, and Göttingen.

Hund worked with such prestigious physicists as Schrödinger, Dirac, Heisenberg, Max Born, and Walter Bothe. At that time, he was Born's assistant, working with quantum interpretation of band spectra of diatomic molecules.

After his studies of mathematics, physics, and geography in Marburg and Göttingen, he worked as a private lecturer for theoretical physics in Göttingen (1925), professor in Rostock (1927), Leipzig (1929), Jena (1946), Frankfurt/Main (1951) and from 1957 again in Göttingen. Additionally he stayed in Copenhagen (1926) with Niels Bohr and lectured on the atom at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1928). He published more than 250 papers and essays. He made contributions to quantum theory - especially concerning the structure of the atom and the structure of molecular spectra. The Hund's rule was named after him and in 1926 he discovered the later so-called tunnel effect.

The Hund's cases, which are particular regimes in molecular angular momentum coupling, and the Hund's rules, which govern electron configurations, are important in spectroscopy and quantum chemistry. In chemistry, the first of Hund's rules is especially important and is often referred to as simply Hund's Rule.

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the book: Friedrich Hund: Geschichte der physikalischen Begriffe [history of physics terms] (Heidelberg, Berlin, Oxford), Spektrum, Akademie Verlag 1996, ISBN 3-8274-0083-X was published. A review was also written by Werner Kutzelnigg.

Besides many different honors bestowed upon him, Friedrich Hund became an honorary citizen of Jena/Saale, and a street in Jena was named after him. Since June, 2004, a part of the new building of the Physics Department was given the Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1 address. The same name was chosen for the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Göttingen.

He was a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.

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