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Honorary Members of the DPG

From the Statutes of the DPG

§ 11 Honorary Members

  1. People who have made an outstanding contribution to physics and the DPG may be elected as honorary members.
  2. Honorary members shall have all rights and obligations of a personal membership without having to pay a membership fee.
  3. An honorary member may be excluded from the DPG for an important reason. In particular a violation of the statutes, an unobjective public defamation of the DPG or unobjective damage to the harmony of the organisation may be deemed to constitute a violation of the statutes. The Executive Board may dismiss an honorary member on the basis of a justified application. Before being dismissed the affected honorary member shall be given the opportunity of making a statement. A complaint against a dismissal may be filed to the Chief Executive, and the Council shall decide on this.


Hermann Haken
With the awarding of an honorary membership, the DPG appreciates his decades-long and exemplary commitment as an academic teacher who has influenced generations of physics students through his textbooks and as a researcher who has shown physics new ways and opened new fields like synergetics. Hence, he has uniquely rendered outstanding service to the purpose of the DPG’s statute.
Wolfgang Frühwald (Gustav Magnus-Medaille)
With this special form of the DPG honorary membership, the DPG appreciates his decades-long commitment as a facilitator among natural sciences and humanities along with his persuasive reasoning for the importance of physics as "leading discipline of natural sciences."


Wolfgang Ketterle
In recognition of his outstanding research achievements and commendable personal commitment for physics and his ability and unabated dedication to enthuse young people across countries and continents for physics.
Knut Urban
In recognition of his basic and applied works in the field of atomic resolving electron microscopy and decades of outstanding activity and merits for the German Physical Society. As a member of the DPG Council, the DPG Executive Board and as DPG President, he has successfully rendered the DPG visible: inwardly, through a new statute, the performance spectrum of the DPG and the establishment of the Convent; externally, in particular through enhanced contact with national and international societies and through numerous statements of the DPG to scientific, educational, socially relevant and political topics.


Dieter Röß
in recognition of his pioneering performances in laser physics and – building on a successful career in industry – his trailblazing and energetic voluntary work for the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft and for physics in Germany. As Chief Executive of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation he earned his laurels by making outstanding contributions towards promoting scientific communication and up-and-coming scientific talent in the field of physics for more than 25 years. During his term in office his wealth of ideas, his energy and his precise use of foundation funds were important in ensuring that the DPG developed into one of the most important physical societies in the world.
Herwig Schopper
in recognition of his many years of untiring work for basic research in physics in Germany and Europe, in particular as director of DESY and CERN, where he created the prerequisite for groundbreaking measurements with the storage rings PETRA and LEP. He was also the president of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft at the time of German Reunification and made important contributions towards strengthening and heightening awareness for physics in Europe at the European Physical Society (EPS).


Alexander Bradshaw
in recognition of his energetic, honorary and pioneering work for physics and for the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. His active role in conceiving and planning the first Science Year “2000 – Year of Physics” and the foundation of the “New Journal of Physics”, one of the first “open access” journals, is particularly laudable.
Gerhard Ertl
in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of physics and chemistry of surfaces and heterogeneous catalysts. With his work on surface physics and decades of untiring dedication to surface physics in Germany he has become the pioneer in this physical and at the same time chemical discipline in Germany. The new methods he developed together with his staff – for instance photoemission electron microscopy – led to breakthroughs in research on kinetics of molecule reactions on surfaces.


Peter Grünberg
for his distinguished discovery of the interlayer exchange coupling – which received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2007 (together with Albert Fert/Paris) – and on the basis of this discovery the giant magnetoresistance in thin transitional metal layers, whose technical use revolutionised magnetic data storage technology and opened up a new field of research – spin electronics – as well as altogether for his publishing contributions with which he made a great contribution towards increasing the image of physics in society in Germany.
Theodor Hänsch
for his pioneering work in laser physics and quantum optics with which he in particular shaped the process of laser cooling in the research area of cold atoms and enabled precision measurements of atomic sizes. With the development of frequency comb technology he also considerably improved the precision of nuclear clocks and consequently enabled new research work in metrology.
Horst Rollnik (deceased)
in recognition of his trailblazing and energetic honorary work for the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft and for physics in Germany. Particularly commendable are the successful restructuring of the statutes with the founding of the DPG Council at the beginning of the 1980s and his successful efforts to establish high quality teaching in diploma degree courses at all physics faculties in Germany.


Peter Egelhaaf
for his outstanding honorary work in the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. This is in particular to honour his outstanding performances as an industrial physicist in the DPG and exercising honorary posts in the DPG Executive Board and DPG Council as well as being a long-term member in the consulting council of industry (BAI, today AIW, DPG Working Group on Industry and Business).
Markus Schwoerer
in recognition of his untiring honorary work for the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft and physics. Particularly commendable is his outstanding commitment in the organisation of the 69th annual meeting "Physics meets Einstein" as well as his numerous activities in DPG-committees and for the Physik Journal (DPG members journal).


Herbert Walther (deceased)
for his pioneering experiments concerning the interaction between single atoms or ions with single photons, on the basis of which he co-founded the research field of Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics, for his indefatigable achievements and successes, generating a prospering research environment for quantum optics, atomic physics and laser physics, as well as for his competent assistance in numerous national and international boards of academic self-administration and for his advice in politics.


Theo Mayer-Kuckuk
in recognition of his trailblazing contributions to nuclear physics and for his outstanding work on behalf of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, in particular in maintaining and establishing the Magnus-Haus in Berlin as a scientific meeting centre for the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Heinz Bethge (deceased)
for his scientific achievements in the sector of developing electron microscopic methods and their application for the investigation of molecular processes on crystal surfaces and in thin films, for his competence, his foresight and his sound judgement concerning the administration of the "Institut für Festkörperphysik und Elektronenmiskroskopie der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR" in Halle, for his effective advancement of the German-German relationship as president of the "Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher LEOPALDINA" from 1973 until 1990, as well as for his exemplary engagement as unconventional adviser in the "Physikalische Gesellschaft der DDR" and the "Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft" after the reunification.
Klaus von Klitzing
for his outstanding achievements in the investigation of solid state materials in high magnetic fields, which gave rise to his discovery of the quantum Hall effect, as well as
for his indefatigable and successful fundamental research in solid state physics and their presentation to the public.


Werner Buckel (deceased)
acknowledging his contributions to physical research in Germany, in particular to low temperature physics and superconductivity as well as
acknowledging his great encouragement for the "Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft" and for the "Physikzentrum Bad Honnef", his important role in advice of the "Wilhelm und Else Heraeus-Stiftung" and his engagement for the European Physical Society.


Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (deceased)
acknowledging his contributions to physics and his long-standing merits for the development of physical research in Germany.
It appreciates in particular his aura as teacher and his indefatigable activities for the advancement of young physicists, his prosperous functioning for the spread of scientific insights as well as his definite advocacy for international cooperation of scientists and for the perception of the collective responsibility for our world’s future.
Wilhelm Walcher (deceased)
acknowledging his long-standing merits for the development of the physical research in Germany as well as his initiative and active assistance to the reconstruction of the “Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft” after World War II.
It appreciates in particular his prosperous functioning for the spread of scientific insights and for strengthening the status of science in our culture as well as his definite advocacy for the perception of the responsibility for our world’s future.


Wilhelm Heinrich Heraeus (deceased)

Victor F. Weisskopf


Friedrich Hund (deceased)


Hermann Ebert (deceased)

Honorary members of German Physical Societies prior to the refoundation of the "Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft"



Alexander Meissner


Erwin Madelung

Walter Schottky


Walther Bothe

James Franck

Walther Kossel


Max Born

Louis de Broglie


Max von Laue

Carl Ramsauer

Erich Regener


Ronald G. J. Fraser


Otto Hahn

Lise Meitner


Hans Gerdien

Ludwig Prandtl

Hermann von Siemens

Jonathan Zenneck


Gustav Mie

Arnold Sommerfeld


Walther Nernst

Max Wien


Carl von Linde


Max Planck


Carl Friedrich von Siemens

Rudolf Straubel


Carl Duisberg

Albert Vögler


Orest Chwolson


Eugen Goldstein

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Karl Scheel


Emil Warburg


G. Quincke Ehrenvorsitzender


Emil du Bois-Reymond Ehrenvorsitzender
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