- Category : Science-Physics
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Alignment 1
German physicist, honored for his important contributions to nuclear physics when he was elected to a Fellowship in the American Physical Society.
Nitschke was born on the eve of World War II, and his father was a member of the Resistance movement which fought against Hitler. When he was only six years old, his father was tried and executed by the Nazis.
In 1966, as a graduate student on a fellowship from the German government, he was sent to work at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory where he studied radioactive material decay rates. He eventually returned to Germany to complete his doctorate at the Technische Hochschule in Braunschweig before working for two years at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Orsay, France. In 1971, Nitschke returned to the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and worked on the accelerator project, modifying the HILAC into the SuperHILAC. In 1974, he and his research team discovered an important isotope, and during the 1980s, he led a research effort with OASIS. He spent the last years of his life as a senior staff scientist in the Nuclear Science Division.
An outstanding athlete, Nitschke competed on the West German rowing team during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He sang opera and was an accomplished pianist. Concerned about the environment, he was deeply involved with organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Cousteau Society. He was a gifted teacher who participated in mentoring programs as well, one who gave his students insight into the world of ‘real science.’
After an illness of several months, Nitschke died on 2/24/1995. A scholarship for college-level students was established in his memory.