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Cecil George Jaffe

Cecil George Jaffe

Male 1880 - 1965  (85 years)

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  • Name Cecil George Jaffe 
    Born 16 Jan 1880  Moscow, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Biography George Jaffé was one of the children of the German businessman Ludwig Jaffé (1845-1923) from Hamburg and his wife Henriette, nee Marks (1853-1929), a native American from New Orleans. George Jaffé was born on 18 January 1880 as a German citizen in Moscow. The different nationality and cosmopolitanism of the parents and Jaffé's birth in yet another country contributed to the fact that he later felt himself as a cosmopolitan and also unfolded corresponding travel activities and made a change of location.
    To enable the children German education, the Jaffé family returned in 1888 from Moscow to Hamburg. In Hamburg, George Jaffé attended elementary school for one year, then a grammar school for one year and a humanistic grammar school for eight years. After graduating in 1898, he studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the University of Munich with a focus on physical chemistry. One of his teachers had been the chemist Adolf von Baeyer there. Jaffé continued his studies at the University of Leipzig with the lesser Nobel laureate Wilhelm Ostwald , who became his revered teacher and in which he earned his doctorate with the topic of studies on oversaturated solutions . In Leipzig, Ludwig Boltzmann had a great influence on him.
    With a recommendation from Boltzmann, Jaffé continued his studies at the University of Cambridge in 1903/04, in the famous Cavendish Laboratory, where the eminent physicist JJ Thomson (with whom Philipp Lenard was at war because of priority disputes) worked. Not unusual for Englishmen, Thomson spoke no French. When in 1904 the French Nobel laureate Pierre Curie , who in turn did not speak English, paid a visit to the Cavendish Laboratory, Jaffé was able to interpret. Curie offered him on this occasion to work in the laboratory of Marie and Pierre Curie in Paris, an offer that Jaffé gladly accepted in 1904/05. After a one-year stay at the Sorbonne, Jaffé went to the United States, his mother's homeland, to visit various universities and the National Bureau of Standards on the east coast. Then he returned to Leipzig. In 1908 Jaffé habilitated in Leipzig with the habilitation thesis The electrical conductivity of the pure hexane . Then he was assistant there and lectured as a lecturer. In 1911/12 he worked again in the Laboratory of the Curies in Paris, as a Carnegie Fellow in 1916, he was appointed to the University of Leipzig as an associate professor.
    Jaffé's college career was then interrupted by the First World War. After he had become a soldier in 1915, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1917. He received several high military awards, including the Iron Cross 1st class, the Hanseatic Cross and the Bavarian Military Order of Merit 4th class with swords. He also gained a special reputation through his decryption skills. In 1919 he returned from military service to Leipzig.
    At the request of the chemists, Jaffé took over the lecture "Introduction to the Mathematical Treatment of the Natural Sciences with Exercises" held by Otto Fischer after the convocation in Leipzig. Over several semesters, he also represented the diseased professor of theoretical physics. In 1923 Jaffé was appointed in Leipzig to the scheduled Ordinarius for Theoretical Physics. He studied the ionization of gases, light absorption in metals and non-conductors, hydrodynamics, high-vacuum discharges, relativity theory, anisotropic radiation fields and statistical mechanics.
    From 1926 to 1933 Jaffé taught as a full professor of theoretical physics at the University of Giessen. He was considered an excellent, inspiring teacher. He now also dealt with the then current ionic conductivity and kinetic gas theory. In 1932, he held the post of Dean of the Faculty of Arts, second division. According to relevant publications, his favorite topics included the theory of the conductivity of ionizable media, the influence of α-rays on the electrical conductivity of crystals and the theory of the hydrogen molecule ion. Years later, Jaffé was pleased that during this time he had managed to fill the Chair of Experimental Physics, which had been left by the retirement of Walter Konigs , with the later Nobel laureate Walther Bothe, who, together with his colleague H. Becker, carried out important experiments to investigate the core stimulation and that when Bothe was called to the University of Heidelberg after two years, he had been able to gain Christian Gerthsen for this chair.
    At the University of Giessen Jaffé could only teach and research for six years. He was of Israelite descent. After the seizure of power in 1933 by the National Socialists, he would have been entitled to a special position because of his considerable military merit in the First World War, but he was soon suggested by the Chancellor of the University, "in the interest of undisturbed teaching operation to postpone the beginning of his lectures." On September 6, 1933, he was then informed by the Hessian Ministry of the dismissal under § 4 of the Reich Law of 7 April 1933, which was mitigated in March 1934 in a compulsory embarrassing under § 3. In 1938, Jaffé, together with Emil Cohn, Richard Gans, Leo Graetz, Walter Kaufmann and other physicists of Israelite descent, demonstratively declared to Debye his resignation from the German Physical Society
    Jaffé initially worked in Freiburg / Briegau on private research projects. In 1939 he emigrated to the USA, where he was Visiting Lecturer until 1842, then Associate Professor and since 1946 Full Professor at the Luisiana State University in Baton Rouge (Luisiana). His main scientific interest during this time was in the conduct of electricity in liquids and related problems. In 1950, he retired at the age of 70 years. After his retirement, he dealt with the theory of the electrical conductivity of semiconductors and with the diffusion of neutrons.
    George Jaffé was married since 1912 to the pianist Paula Hegner (1889-1943), with whom he had a son. His last years he spent partly in Germany, where he died in Göppingen (Württemberg) on March 18, 1965. His remains were transferred to the USA and buried at the Hebrew Rest Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    As was George Jaffé's last will, his estate is kept in the Giessen University Library. The estate contains thirteen volumes of personal records. Three volumes under the motto My Life bear the titles: The Story of a Book (1905), The New Abélard and Letters from a Father to His Son . Six volumes contain travelogues. Four further volumes contain poetry: Autumn (I) , Autumn (II) , Winter and Gleanings . Loose sheets of the estate also contain sonnets (Jaffé played the violin), biblical chants and translations from Pindar.
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    Publications (selection)
    • About the ionization of liquid dielectrics by radium rays . In: Annalen der Physik . Volume 25, 1908, p. 257 ff.
    • Dispersion and absorption . In: W. Wien and F. Harms (ed.): Handbook of Experimental Physics . Volume VIII, 1928.
    • Three Dialogues on Space, Time and Causality (The first two dialogues in 2nd edition), Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1954.
    Wilhelm Hanle and Arthur Scharmann, in: Giessen scholars in the first half of the 20th century , casting 1982.

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    Immigration 1939  Baton Rouge, LA. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Physics professor, University Giessen 
    Residence Moscow, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 18 Mar 1965  Goppingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Hebrew Rest Cemetery, New Orleans, LA. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I435  Blank Family
    Last Modified 7 Feb 2021 

    Father Ludwig Salomon Jaffe,   b. 26 Apr 1845, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Feb 1923, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Mother Henrietta Nenny Marks,   b. 14 Apr 1852, New Orleans, LA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jul 1923, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 18 Oct 1871  New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F158  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Paula Hegner,   b. 20 Aug 1889, Vienna, Austria Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1943, Baton Rouge, LA. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 30 Sep 1912  Leipzig, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2006 
    Family ID F1962  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Jan 1880 - Moscow, Russia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 30 Sep 1912 - Leipzig, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Moscow, Russia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Jaffe George Cecil 1905
    Jaffe George Cecil 1905

    George Cecil Jaffe Bio
    George Cecil Jaffe Bio

    George Cecil Jaffe Bio
    George Cecil Jaffe Bio
    Falk's Hamburg home, 25 Blumenstrasse
    Falk's Hamburg home, 25 Blumenstrasse

  • Sources 
    1. [S694] .

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