The Info List - Oskar Klein

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OSKAR BENJAMIN KLEIN (Swedish: ; September 15, 1894 – February 5, 1977) was a Swedish theoretical physicist .


Klein was born in Danderyd outside Stockholm
, son of the chief rabbi of Stockholm, Gottlieb Klein from Humenné in Slovakia
and Antonie (Toni) Levy. He became a student of Svante Arrhenius
Svante Arrhenius
at the Nobel Institute at a young age and was on the way to Jean-Baptiste Perrin
Jean-Baptiste Perrin
in France when World War I
World War I
broke out and he was drafted into the military.

From 1917, he worked a few years with Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
in the University of Copenhagen and received his doctoral degree at the University College of Stockholm
(now 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
Paul Ehrenfest
in Leiden
, then became docent at Lund University
Lund University
in 1926 and in 1930 accepted the offer of the professorial chair in physics at the Stockholm
University College, which had previously been held by 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
Hideki Yukawa
. His model was based on a local isotropic gauge symmetry and anticipated the later successful theory of Yang-Mills .

The Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture , held annually at the University of Stockholm, has been named after him. The Oskar Klein
Oskar Klein
Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics in Stockholm, Sweden
is also in his honor.

Oskar Klein
Oskar Klein
is the grandfather of Helle Klein .


Oskar Klein's tomb at Judiska norra begravningsplatsen in Solna (grey stone to the right).

* ^ Deser, Stanley (June 1977). "Oskar Klein". Physics Today. 30 (6): 67–68. Bibcode :1977PhT....30f..67D. doi :10.1063/1.3037609 .