Life and Work of Rolf Wideröe by © Pedro Waloschek,     => Contents

Box 6:  About Max Steenbeck

In an interesting book, Max Steenbeck gives an account of his life [St77]. He was born in 1904 and studied physics in Kiel. From 1927 until the end of the War, he worked in the research department of the Siemens-Schuckert factory in Berlin-Siemensstadt where he also completed his dissertation. This is where he conducted his early betatron experiments.

After the War, Steenbeck went to Moscow where he worked for eleven years, mainly on the separation of isotopes. He returned a committed communist, became a professor in Jena, and worked on cosmic magnetic fields, plasma and solid state physics amongst other things, but his main concern was with nuclear energy. He had a good reputation in the GDR as a physicist and held important positions. He later became rather critical of his past at Siemens.

As Steenbeck quotes in his book, he had already developed the basic ideas for a cyclotron and even a first outline for a synchrocyclotron by 1927/28. On the urging of his colleagues at Siemens he then wrote an article for `Naturwissenschaften' magazine. However, because of a misunderstanding regarding a request for consultation by his superior Dr. Rüdenberg, this article was never published.

Max Steenbeck died in Berlin in 1981.