Fritz Paneth

Biography of Fritz Paneth

Friedrich Adolf Paneth, also known as Fritz, matriculated in the University in the summer of 1913 as a research student. Paneth worked under John Ferugson, the Regius Professor of Chemistry from 1874 to 1915, and conducted research on "Isolation and Recognition of Rare Gases".

Paneth was born in 1887 in Vienna. His father, Josef, was a lecturer in Physiology and died when Friedrich was 3 years old. Paneth studied at the universities of Vienna and Munich, and was awarded his PhD by the Institute for Radium Research, Vienna, in 1910. After leaving the University of Glasgow in 1913, Paneth gained his habilitation, or Venia Legendi.

Paneth went on to work at the universities of Prague, Hamburg, and Berlin as a lecturer. In 1929, he became the Director of the Chemical Laboratories at the University of Königsberg, often referred to as the Albertina. Königsberg was then part of Germany but, in 1945, became a part of Russia and was renamed Kaliningrad.

Despite being Protestant, Paneth's Jewish heritage meant he was forced to leave Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933. Paneth moved to London and worked at both the Imperial College, and the University of London, before moving to the University of Durham where he remained for 15 years. After 20 years in Britain, Paneth decided to return to Germany in 1953 and took up the post of Director of the Chemistry Department of the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, in Mainz. He remained in Mainz until his sudden death on 17 September 1958, at the age of 72.

To commemorate his distinguished career, Paneth has a crater on the Moon named after him, as well as Panethgasse in the 22nd District of Vienna, and the mineral Panethite.


Fritz Paneth
Born 31 August 1887.
Died 17 September 1958.
University Link: Student
GU Degree: Science and Engineering, 1913;
Occupation categories: chemists
Record last updated: 11th Sep 2014

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student

There are no comments available.