Klaus von Klitzing was born in 1943 in Sroda near Poznan, Poland. He finished Artland-Gymnasium in Quakenbruck. He studied physics at Technical University of Braunschweig. Klitzing received his Ph.D. from University of Würzburg in 1972 for thesis: Galvanomagnetic Properties of Tellurium in Strong Magnetic Fields. In 1978 he finished his habilitation. In 1980-84 he worked as professor at the Technical University, München. Since January 1985 Klaus von Klitzing is Director at the Max-Planck-Institut for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.
Klaus von Klitzing
Klaus von Klitzing discovered precise steps in the behavior of electrons under certain applications in semiconductor electronics, a field of importance in computer science and other present-day technology. The discovery permits more precise measurement of electrical resistance and more accurate testing of theories about electronic movements within atoms. His experiments were performed in a magnetic field up to 20 tesla at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Grenoble, France. This magnetic field is roughly 400,000 times stronger than that of the earth's surface magnetism. He found a solution of the Hall Effect during night on February 4/5, 1980 in Grenoble.
The Hall resistance in semiconductors is just the ratio of the electrical current and the voltage at right angles to each other, which happens because the electrons are bent round in circles by the magnetic force. He discovered that this resistance was a fundamental quantum of nature, which could be used to define the atomic fine structure constant, and which would be used to define the international value of the ohm.
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Last Updated: 21 October 2007