From the archive: May 1976

Physics awards 

Victor F Weisskopf has been awarded the Oersted Medal, the highest award of the American Association of Physics Teachers. It is given for outstanding contributions in the teaching of physics and can rarely have had a more deserving recipient than “Viki” Weisskopf. His general lectures on physics draw large audiences wherever he goes. For example, at MIT no lecture room could be found large enough to hold all who wished to attend his recent talks on “Modern Physics without Mathematics”. The photo shows him in discussion with vacation students at CERN after one of the lectures given during his regular summer visits.

Professor E C G Stueckelberg has been awarded the 1976 Max Planck Medal for his basic work on field theory. Ernst Stueckelberg is presently Honorary Professor at the University of Geneva and also works in the Theory Division at CERN.

  • Compiled from text on p185 of CERN Courier May 1976.

Compiler’s note

With his palpable enthusiasm for new ideas and young people, Viki Weisskopf was the much cherished director-general of CERN from 1961 to 1965. Under his direction, the fledging laboratory developed into one of the foremost institutions in the subject.

The relative lack of renown for the Stueckelberg mechanism in modern field theory may be due to the idiosyncratic style of eminent physicist Baron Ernst Carl Gerlach Stueckelberg von Breidenbach zu Breidenstein und Melsbach, a scion of Swiss aristocracy born in Basel in 1905. Older readers might recall his attendance at CERN seminars accompanied by his little dog.