Landé, Alfred

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Landé, Alfred Gender: M
born on 13 December 1888 at 09:15 (= 09:15 AM )
Place Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Germany, 51n16, 7e0836
Timezone LMT m7e0836 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 21°51' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 26°40 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 08°12'

Alfred Landé


German-American physicist known for his contributions to quantum theory. He is responsible for the Landé g-factor an explanation of the Zeeman Effect.

Landé obtained his doctorate under Sommerfeld at the University of Munich, two weeks prior to the start of the First World War. He joined the Red Cross and served for two years on the eastern front before being invited by Max Born to join him at the Artillery Testing Commission, one of the few scientific sections of the army. Apart from their work on artillery location by sound ranging, they began to examine the cohesive forces and compressibility of crystals. This work led to the unexpected result that the electron trajectories in atoms were not at all like planetary orbits, which at the time was the usual understanding of the electron in an atom.

Landé studied atomic structure intensively for the next seven years. In 1916 Sommerfeld had begun to apply the new atomic theory to form a general quantization rule. Landé's work over cubic and tetrahedral electron trajectories ("cube atoms") became of great interest to Sommerfeld, Peter Debye and Bohr.

In 1919 Landé unexpectedly turned to spectroscopy even though the continuation of the study of the spatial orientation of the atoms was the most pressing problem of the time. He turned to the problem of atoms with several electrons, in particular to the simplest case, the spectrum of helium. The spectroscopy of helium had been examined experimentally by Friedrich Paschen, but there did not exist a theoretical interpretation. The spectrum showed non-combining single and double (actually triplet, as it turned out later) terms so that it seemed as if helium was made of two different substances (which is explained today as the result of electron spin).

Landé's work contained several new important ideas, including the rule of vector addition of two quantum-mechanical angular momenta J1 and J2. His findings and postulates were later confirmed by quantum theory.

Landé's Frankfurt investigations (December 1920 until April 1921) ended with the discovery of the well-known Landé g-formula and an explanation for the anomalous Zeeman Effect. The Landé g-factor is now defined through mJ, the magnetic quantum number.

In 1923, Landé stated the Landé interval rule, a rule dealing with the relation between an electron's spin and orbit.

During 1925 Ralph Kronig, who presented the idea of electron spin some months before George Uhlenbeck andSamuel Goudsmit, was working as an assistant to Landé.

In late 1929 Landé was invited to Ohio State University in Columbus, to present a series of lectures. After a second stay (1930-1931) in Columbus, Ohio, he decided to establish himself in the United States. Landé was a forerunner in a phase of new interpretation of quantum theory, from which concrete physical statements about experimentally verifiable facts can be made. The Landé interpretation is considered a minority interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Landé died on 30 October 1976 in Columbus, Ohio.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Gauquelin vol 2


  • Vocation : Science : Physics
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Landé g-factor)