In this video interview Theodor Hänsch who won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for his contribution to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy starts by telling us that his father raised him to be a rebel!  He says that he gets a little devilish delight in disobeying orders. 


 

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At school he was very bored so he learned how to take books out from the public and then the University library where he says they had a much larger range.  Heavily into chemical experimentation he stored chemicals under his parent`s bed.  Fortunately nothing terrible resulted from his experiments apart from one small accident where he burned his fringe and became slightly deaf.  This turned him away from chemistry towards an interest in electronics.

At the age of 16 he decided that he wanted to be a University professor.  He started out wanting to do nuclear physics as he says that it was the glamorous thing to do in the 1960s.  But after attending conferences he realised that he would need to collaborate on using large equipment on large experiments in order to do nuclear physics and he says that he likes to have his own toys!

Hänsch goes on to tell us that he found lasers a fascinating new tool so he went on to work with lasers.  He says that his PhD thesis is still being sited today and  tells us about different experiments that he has carried out using lasers.  His work on the spectroscopy of hydrogen gave significant and important measurements.  He then talks about the work for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize and ends on the subject of religion.

 


 

Links To Other Information:

Link to Theodor Hänsch`s webpage on Wikipedia

Link to autobiography on the NobelPrize.org website

Theodor W. Hänsch



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