Carl Wilhelm Ramsauer
- Category : Science-Physics
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (2,34,57)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Masks 1
Carl Wilhelm Ramsauer (February 6, 1879 in Osternburg, Oldenburg – December 24, 1955 in Berlin) was an internationally notable professor of physics and research physicist, famous for the discovery of the Ramsauer–Townsend effect. He pioneered the field of electron and proton collisions with gas molecules.
From 1897 to 1907, Ramsauer studied at the Munich, Tübingen, Berlin, Kiel, London, and Breslau Universities. He was awarded his doctorate at Kiel.
From 1907 to 1909, Ramsauer was a teaching assistant to Philipp Lenard in the physics department at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. It was here that he conducted research on the quantum effect of the transparency of noble gases to slow electrons, known as the Ramsauer–Townsend effect. Subsequently, he was a staff scientist at the Radiological Institute in Heidelberg. During World War I, he served as an artillery officer. From 1921, he was an ordinarius professor at the Danzig Technische Hochschule.
From 1928 to 1945 he was director of the research division of the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), an electric combine with headquarters in Berlin and Frankfurt-am-Main. During the period 1931 to 1945, in addition to his position at AEG, he was honorary professor at the Berlin Technische Hochschule; the title meant that he was authorized to teach at the facility, but not required. From 1945, he was ordinarius professor and director of the physics department at the Berlin Technische Hochschule.
From 1937, Ramsauer was chairman of the Berlin Section of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), and from 1940 to 1945 the general chairman, i.e., president of the entire DPG. As president, Ramsauer and his deputy Wolfgang Finkelnburg took an independent course of action from the party line and against Deutsche Physik, which was anti-Semitic and had a bias against theoretical physics, especially including quantum mechanics. In taking this stance, they were supported by others, including Max Wien and Ludwig Prandtl.
Early in 1942, as chairman of the DPG, Ramsauer, with the support of Ludwig Prandtl, submitted a petition to Reich Minister Bernhard Rust, at the Reichserziehungsministerium (Reich Education Ministry). The petition, a letter and six attachments, addressed the atrocious state of physics instruction in Germany, which Ramsauer concluded was the result of politicization of education.
Ramsauer was editor of the journals Zeitschrift für technische Physik and Physik in regelmässigen Berichten. The former journal, founded in 1919, was directed to industrial physicists and engineers, and it was a publication of the German Society of Technical Physics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Physik). The latter journal, founded in 1933, was a supplement to the Zeitschrift für technische Physik.
Ramsauer retired in 1955 and died shortly thereafter.