GSI-FAIR Colloquium

Rolf Widerøe - Life and Work

by Norbert Holtkamp (SLAC)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from to (Europe/Berlin)
at GSI ( Main Lecture Hall )

2017 marked the 90th birthday of the invention of the first RF linear accelerator which was built in Aachen, Germany. Published in Rolf Wideröe’s ground-breaking 27 page PhD thesis, the rf linear accelerator has opened up new windows of science ever since. Most remarkably though, the invention was made by a man who at the age of 20, just five years before, also invented the betatron and wrote down the famous “Wideröe Equation”. The talk will go over the fascinating life of a man and his family who were driven by science and who either was involved or single handedly invented many of the accelerator technologies that we use in our community today. While following Rolf Wideröe through much of the last century, the talk will also address his inventions and the impact they made. The science story of accelerators is embedded in the historic context of Rolf Wideröe’s family, his parents, brothers and sisters and the time he was living. Much of this story is based on a book recently published by Aashild Soerheim (“Obsessed by a Dream”; in Norwegian) and it reads like a thriller. The talk will draw the audience into the thriller and how it relates to the science we are doing today.