Max von Laue
This biography gives an insider view of 20th century German science in the making. The discovery by Max von Laue in 1912 of interference effects demonstrated the wave-like nature of X-rays and the atomic lattice structure of crystals. This major advance for research on solids earned him the Nobel Prize two years later, the ultimate acclaim as an exceptional theoretician. As an early supporter of Einstein’s relativity theory, he published fundamental papers on light scattering as well as on matter waves and superconductivity. Laue may be counted among the few persons of influence in Germany who – as Einstein put it – managed to “stay morally upright” under Nazism. It is thus surprising that this is the first extensive biography of this famous scientist.
Jost Lemmerich could hardly have been better equipped to describe German physics and physicists in the 1920s. His copiously illustrated historical account is based as much on scientific material as on private correspondence, creating a fascinating and convincingly detailed portrait.