Hans Thirring, Prof. Dr.

23.3.1888 – 22.3.1978
born in Wien, Austria died in Wien, Austria


Dean Faculty of Philosophy 1946/47
Prodean Faculty of Philosophy 1947/48-1948/49

He studied mathematics and physics at the university of Vienna (acquired his Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in 1911; as early as 1910, he became assistant professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics); he was promoted to associate professor in 1915; in 1921, he became untenured professor of theoretical physics at the University of Vienna and president of the Institute for Theoretical Physics (till 1938); from 1927 onwards, he held a full professorship in theoretical physics.

He reached international notoriety due to his book "The Idea of the Theory of Relativity" (Thirring-Lense effect). His validation of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the pacifist views he held were only two of the reasons the national-socialists sent him into compulsory retirement in 1938.

He spent the national-socialist period working as a scientific consultant first for Elin AG in Vienna, subsequently for Siemens and Halske. He was reinstated as a professor in 1945 and held his tenure till 1958 (1946/47 dean, 1947/48 and 1948/49 he was vice-dean of the Faculty of Philosophy).

He served as a member in the Austrian Parliament (SPOE [Austrian Socialist Party, currently Austrian Social-Democratic Party]) between 1957 and 1964. He was actively involved in the peace movement and helped raise awareness of the perils of nuclear warfare ("History of the Atom Bomb" [original title: "Geschichte der Atombombe"], 1946, "Homo sapiens", 2 volumes, 1947-49).

Katharina Kniefacz

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 09/10/21