Oskar Benjamin Klein (Swedish: [klajn]; 15 September 1894 – 5
February 1977) was a Swedish theoretical physicist.
Oskar Klein's tomb at Judiska norra begravningsplatsen in Solna (grey
stone to the right).
Klein was born in Danderyd outside Stockholm, son of the chief rabbi
of Stockholm, Gottlieb Klein from
Slovakia and Antonie
(Toni) Levy. He became a student of
Svante Arrhenius at the Nobel
Institute at a young age and was on the way to
Jean-Baptiste Perrin in
World War I
World War I broke out and he was drafted into the
From 1917, he worked a few years with
Niels Bohr in the University of
Copenhagen and received his doctoral degree at the University College
Stockholm University) in 1921. In 1923, he received
a professorship at
University of Michigan
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and moved there
with his recently wedded wife, Gerda Koch from Denmark. Klein returned
to Copenhagen in 1925, spent some time with
Paul Ehrenfest in Leiden,
then became docent at
Lund University in 1926 and in 1930 accepted the
offer of the professorial chair in physics at the
College, which had previously been held by
Erik Ivar Fredholm
Erik Ivar Fredholm until
his death in 1927. Klein was awarded the
Max Planck Medal in 1959. He
retired as professor emeritus in 1962.
Klein is credited for inventing the idea, part of Kaluza–Klein
theory, that extra dimensions may be physically real but curled up and
very small, an idea essential to string theory / M-theory.
In 1938, he proposed a boson-exchange model for charge-charging weak
interactions (radioactive decay), a few years after a similar proposal
by Hideki Yukawa. His model was based on a local isotropic gauge
symmetry and anticipated the later successful theory of Yang-Mills.
Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture, held annually at the University of
Stockholm, has been named after him. The
Oskar Klein Centre for
Cosmoparticle Physics in Stockholm,
Sweden is also in his honor.
Oskar Klein is the grandfather of Helle Klein.
^ Deser, Stanley (June 1977). "Oskar Klein". Physics Today. 30 (6):
67–68. Bibcode:1977PhT....30f..67D. doi:10.1063/1.3037609. Archived
from the original on 2013-09-28.
O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Oskar Klein", MacTutor
History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
ISNI: 0000 0001 1069 2395
BNF: cb12907584x (data)