Peierls, Sir Rudolf Ernst
PEIERLS, SIR RUDOLF ERNST
PEIERLS, SIR RUDOLF ERNST (1907–1995), British physicist. Peierls, who was born in Berlin, held an appointment at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich from 1929 to 1932. In 1933 he went to England and pursued research at Manchester University for four years. He became professor of applied mathematics at Birmingham University and worked on the atomic energy project there from 1940 to 1943. In the latter year he went to the U.S. and was for three years one of the leading scientists on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory. In 1946 he returned to Birmingham, where he remained until 1963, when he was appointed professor of physics at Oxford. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1945 and was knighted in 1968.
From the outset of his academic life, Peierls was deeply involved in the development of atomic energy. At Birmingham at the outbreak of World War ii, he and Otto *Frisch considered the theoretical questions involved in chain reaction and concluded that the energy liberated by a five-kilogram bomb would be equivalent to several thousand tons of dynamite. In a short paper, which also outlined a possible thermal diffusion method for the separation of uranium 235 and suggested how the bomb could be detonated, they were the first in the world to enunciate the practical possibility of the atom bomb with scientific precision. The Peierls-Frisch paper was one of the factors that influenced the British government to begin an atomic energy program prior to the Manhattan Project. Peierls' publications included: Quantum Theory of Solids (1955), Laws of Nature (1955), Surprises in Theoretical Physics (1979), and the autobiographical Bird of Passage (1985).
Sir Rudolph's son, ronald frank peierls (1935 –), was also a physicist. Born in Manchester, he went to the United States and had posts at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, nj, and Cornell University before being appointed to the physics division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, ny, in 1966. His main interest was the nature and properties of interactions between elementary particles.
[Julian Louis Meltzer]
"Peierls, Sir Rudolf Ernst." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 19, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peierls-sir-rudolf-ernst
"Peierls, Sir Rudolf Ernst." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved December 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peierls-sir-rudolf-ernst
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.