Bernd T. Matthias (June 8, 1918 – October 27, 1980[1]) was a German-born American physicist credited with discoveries of hundreds of elements and alloys with superconducting properties.[2][3] He was said to have discovered more elements and compounds with superconducting properties than any other scientist.[4]

Bernard Theodor Matthias
Born(1918-06-08)June 8, 1918
DiedOctober 27, 1980(1980-10-27) (aged 62)
Alma materETH Zurich
Known forMatthias rules
SpouseJoan Trapp Matthias
AwardsOliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize
elected member of NAS
elected fellow of AAAS
APS Prize for New Materials
Scientific career
FieldsSolid state physics
InstitutionsUC San Diego
Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of Chicago
Bell Labs
ThesisUeber den piezoelektrisch bedingten ΔE-Effekt der Seignetteelektrika (1943)
Doctoral advisorPaul Scherrer[1]
Other academic advisorsArthur R. von Hippel
Doctoral studentsPaul Ching Wu Chu
M. Brian Maple

Education and career edit

Bernd Theodor Matthias was born in Frankfurt, West Germany on June 8, 1918. He received his PhD in physics from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1943. He also earned a D.Sc. from the University of Lausanne in 1947.[5] He immigrated to the United States in 1947.

He taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1947–1948), then went to work for Bell Laboratories in 1948, and worked at the University of Chicago (1949–1951), before joining the physics faculty of University of California, San Diego in 1961. He remained at UCSD for the rest of his career, conducting research and mentoring students who became distinguished physicists in their turn. He is best known for his work on solid state physics and the behavior of matter at extremely low temperatures; he also did important work on ferroelectricity.[5][6] Matthias was also a member of the JASON defense advisory group.[7]

In 1954, he came up with his famous Matthias' rules, a series of empirical guidelines on how to find superconductors.[8]

Honors and awards edit

In 1965 he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[2][3]

He received the Research Corporation Award (1962), John Price Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute (1964), the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1970)[3] and James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials (1979).[9]

The University of California, San Diego has an endowed chair in physics named for him; the Bernd T. Matthias Chair in Physics is currently held by M. Brian Maple, who received his PhD under Mathias.

The Bernd T. Matthias Prize for Superconducting Materials was created in 1989 and is awarded annually at the M2S (Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity) Conference to recognize innovative contributions to the material aspects of superconductivity. The award was originally sponsored by Bell Labs; since 2000 it has been sponsored by the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, whose founding director, Paul C. W. Chu, was Matthias’ former student.[10]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Clogston, Albert M.; Geballe, Theodore H.; Hulm, John K. (1 January 1981). "Bernd T. Matthias". Physics Today. 34 (1): 84. Bibcode:1981PhT....34a..84C. doi:10.1063/1.2889985. ISSN 0031-9228. OCLC 4636531057. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Matthias, Bernd T., 1918–1980". American Institute of Physics. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Geballe, Theodore Henry; Hulm, J.K. (1996). Biographical Memoirs: Volume 70. National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.17226/5406. ISBN 978-0-309-05541-3. Archived from the original on 30 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Sullivan, Walter (29 October 1980). "Bernd T. Matthias Is Dead at 62; Discovered Key Superconductor; Significance of Superconductors". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Bernd T. Matthias". International Journal of Quantum Chemistry. 20: 5–19. 19 June 2009. doi:10.1002/qua.560200803. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Dr. Bernd T. Matthias died" (PDF). UC San Diego news release. October 28, 1980. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  7. ^ Aaserud, Finn (May 4, 1987). "Oral History Transcript — Dr. Matthew Sands". American Institute of Physics. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Geballe, T. H.; Hulm, J. K. (1996). Bernd Theodor Matthias 1918–1990 (PDF). National Academy of Science.
  9. ^ American Physical Society:James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials
  10. ^ "Bernd T. Matthias Prize". M2S. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.

External links edit

Further reading edit