Reiche, F. (Fritz), 1883-1969

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Fritz Reiche was born on July 4, 1883 in Berlin, Germany. He attended the University of Munich from 1901 to 1902 and the University of Berlin from 1902 to 1907. He received his Ph.D. in 1907 after studying with Max Planck. Between 1908 and 1911 Reiche was working at the University of Breslau and from 1911 to 1913 he was at the University of Berlin. In 1913 till 1921 Reiche was an instructor of theoretical physics at the University of Berlin. Also during this period he was an assistant to Professor Planck between 1915 and 1918 and worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin-Dahlem between 1919 and 1921. Up until 1921, Reiche's work focused mainly on optical theories, such as his studies on refraction principles, the diffraction of light, and the emission and absorption distribution of spectral lines. In 1921 Reiche moved to the University of Breslau as a professor of theoretical physics. At about the same time as this move, Reiche's work began to focus more on quantum theory. His position at Breslau ended abruptly with the dismissal by the Nazis of Jewish scientists in 1933. Reiche left Germany for two years for a guest lecturer position at the German University in Prague, but he returned to Berlin in 1935. Reiche held no academic position until 1941 when he and his family immigrated to the United States and he brought news of the advances in Germany towards the production of fissionable material. In 1941 h

e became an associate professor of physics at the New School for Social Research in New York. Between 1942 and 1944 he was an instructor at the City College in New York and between 1944 and 1946 he was a lecturer at Union College in Schenectady, New York. In 1946 Reiche began a position as an adjunct professor at New York University and remained there until his retirement from teaching in 1958. At NYU, Reiche taught such subjects as theoretical physics, wave mechanics, and thermodynamics. He also carried out special research projects for NASA and the U.S. Navy on supersonic flow. After 1958, Reiche continued his research as the Senior Research Scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University in the division of electromagnetic research. Reiche continued his research on the difference between the number of modes of wave propagation in magneto-hydrodynamics and in electromagnetics until a few days before his death on January 18, 1969.

From the description of Papers, 1907-1998. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78253212

Fritz Reiche (1883-1969) was a German theoretical physicist who immigrated to the U.S. in 1941, as one of the last Jewish physicists to leave Germany under the Nazi government. A student and colleague of Wilhelm C. Röntgen, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber, Rudolf Ladenburg, James Franck, Max Born and Max von Laue, Reiche established a career in a circle of prominent scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. His academic work in the field of quantum theory earned him international recognition as a distinguished scientist. Historically, Fritz Reiche's migrant story as a displaced scholar has often been received in the context of the development of the atomic bomb in the United States, as he brought to the U.S. news of the German advances in the production of fissionable material.

Reiche grew up in Berlin. He studied physics, mathematics and chemistry at the universities of Munich and Berlin and received his Ph.D. degree under Max Planck in 1907. After three years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Breslau (1908-1911), Reiche returned to Berlin where he completed his habilitation thesis in 1913. In 1914 he married Berta Ochs, daughter of Siegfried Ochs, the founder and conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Choir. The couple had two children. During World War I, Reiche was assistant to Max Planck, 1915-18. At the same time he worked as an instructor at the University of Berlin (1913-1921), and later at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (1919-1921). In 1921 he returned to Breslau as professor of theoretical physics, a position he held until he was dismissed by the Nazi government in 1933. Reiche left Germany for two years as a guest professor at the University of Prague, but returned to Germany in 1935. Until 1941 Reiche held no academic position.

Supported by the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars as well as by Albert Einstein and other colleagues, Reich was eventually able to immigrate with his family to the United States in 1941, where he began to reestablish his career as a scholar at various institutions in the state of New York, including the New School for Social Research (1941), City College (1942-1944), and Union College, Schenectady (1944-1946). He finally obtained a position as adjunct professor at New York University in 1946, where he taught and researched until his retirement at the age of 75. After his retirement in 1958 he continued his academic work at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences until his death in 1969.

From the guide to the Fritz Reiche Collection, 1928-2005, bulk 1939-1969, (Leo Baeck Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Reiche, F. (Fritz), 1883-1969. Papers, 1907-1998. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Ewald, Paul Peter, 1888-1985. Oral history interview with Paul Peter Ewald, 1962 March 29 and 8 May. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Fritz Reiche Collection, 1928-2005, bulk 1939-1969 Leo Baeck Institute.
referencedIn Reiche, Hans. My recollection of Einstein, 1990. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn J. H. (John Hasbrouck) Van Vleck papers, 1923-1959, 1923-1959 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Franck, James, 1882-1964. Oral history joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck, 1962 July 9 to 14. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars. Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records. 1927-1949. New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk), 1898-1950 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abraham, Max, 1875-1922 person
associatedWith Amaldi, Edoardo, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society and American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Andrade, E. N. da C., (Edward Neville da Costa), 1887-1971 person
associatedWith Back, Ernst, 1881-1959 person
associatedWith Bauer, Edmond, 1880-1963 person
associatedWith Becquerel, Jean, 1878-1953 person
associatedWith Benedicks, Carl Axel Fredrik, 1875-1953 person
associatedWith Berliner, Arnold, 1862-1942 person
associatedWith Birge, Raymond T., (Raymond Thayer), 1887-1980 person
associatedWith Bohr, Niels Henrik David, 1885-1962 person
associatedWith Born, Max, 1882-1970. person
associatedWith Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981 person
associatedWith Broglie, Louis de, 1892-1987 person
associatedWith Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967 person
associatedWith Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962 person
associatedWith Coster, Dirk, 1889-1950 person
associatedWith Darwin, Charles Galton, Sir, 1887-1962 person
associatedWith Debye, Peter J. W., (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966 person
associatedWith Dieke, Gerhard Heinrich, 1901-1965 person
associatedWith Dirac, P. A. M., (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984 person
associatedWith Eddington, Arthur Stanley, Sir, 1882-1944 person
associatedWith Ehrenfest, Paul, 1880-1933 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955. person
associatedWith Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars corporateBody
associatedWith Ewald, Paul Peter, 1888-1985. person
associatedWith Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954 person
associatedWith Fokker, A. D., (Adriaan Daniel), 1887-1972 person
associatedWith Fowler, A., (Alfred), 1868-1940 person
associatedWith Franck, James, 1882-1964. person
associatedWith Gerlach, Walther, 1889-1979 person
associatedWith Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham, 1902-1978 person
associatedWith Haber, Fritz, 1868-1934. person
associatedWith Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Hilbert, David, 1862-1943 person
associatedWith Joliot-Curie, Frédéric person
associatedWith Jordan, Pascual, 1902-1980 person
associatedWith Kamerlingh Onnes, Heike, 1853-1926 person
associatedWith Kapitsa, P. L., (Petr Leonidovich), 1894-1984 person
associatedWith Kayser, H., (Heinrich), 1853-1940 person
associatedWith Kemble, Edwin C., (Edwin Crawford), 1889-1984 person
associatedWith Klein, Oskar, 1894-1977 person
associatedWith Kolin, Alexander. person
associatedWith Kramers, Hendrik Anthony, 1894-1952 person
associatedWith Ladenburg, Rudolf Walter, 1882- person
associatedWith Langevin, Paul, 1872-1946 person
associatedWith Laue, Max von, 1879-1960 person
associatedWith London, Fritz, 1900-1954 person
associatedWith McLennan, J. C., (John Cunningham), 1867-1935 person
associatedWith Meitner, Lise, 1878-1968 person
associatedWith Mie, Gustav, 1868-1957 person
associatedWith Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953 person
associatedWith Mulliken, Robert Sanderson, 1896-1986 person
associatedWith Natanson, Ladislaus. person
associatedWith Nishina, Yoshio, 1890-1951 person
associatedWith Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967 person
associatedWith Paschen, F., (Friedrich), 1865-1947 person
associatedWith Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994 person
associatedWith Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958 person
associatedWith Planck, Max, 1858-1947. person
associatedWith Planck, M. (Max), 1822-1900 person
associatedWith Reiche, Hans. person
associatedWith Rosenfeld, L., (Leon), 1904-1974 person
associatedWith Rosseland, Svein, 1894-1985 person
associatedWith Rubens, Heinrich, 1865-1922 person
associatedWith Runge, Carl, 1856-1927 person
associatedWith Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937 person
associatedWith Scheel, Karl, 1866-1936 person
associatedWith Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961. person
associatedWith Sommerfeld, Arnold, 1868-1951 person
associatedWith Stark, Johannes, 1874-1957 person
associatedWith Thomson, J. J., Sir, (Joseph John), 1856-1940 person
associatedWith Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988 person
associatedWith Van Vleck, J. H., (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Voigt, Woldemar, 1850-1919 person
associatedWith Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957 person
associatedWith Warburg, Emil Gabriel, 1846-1931 person
associatedWith Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002 person
associatedWith Zeeman, Pieter, 1865-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Berlin (Germany)
Wrocław (Poland)
New York (N.Y.)
Electric circuit analysis
Physics--Study and teaching
Scholars, German--Exile (Punishment)
Quantum theory
Physicists, Jewish
Vector analysis
Mathematical physics
Spectrum analysis
Wave-motion, Theory of
Emigration and immigration; 1933-1945


Birth 1883

Death 1969





Ark ID: w6hb2n9k

SNAC ID: 4160782