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Reinhard Oehme

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Reinhard Oehme

Reinhard Oehme
Born (1928-01-28)January 28, 1928
Wiesbaden, Germany
Died October 4, 2010(2010-10-04) (aged 82)
Chicago, United States
Residence Chicago
Citizenship American
Nationality German
Fields Physics
Institutions Enrico Fermi Institute
Education Rheingau Gymnasium Geisenheim (Abitur)
Alma mater

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Diploma)

Universität Göttingen (Dr.rer.nat)
  • Erzeugung von Photonen beim Zusammenstoß von Nukleonen (1951)
Doctoral advisor Werner Heisenberg
Other academic advisors Erwin Madelung (diploma)
Notable awards Guggenheim Fellow, Humboldt Price,
American Physical Society Fellow
Spouse Mafalda Pisani (died 2004)

Reinhard Oehme (German: ; born 26 January 1928, Wiesbaden; died sometime between 29 September and 4 October 2010, Hyde Park[1]) was a German-American physicist known for the discovery of C (charge conjugation) non-conservation in the presence of P (parity) violation, the formulation and proof of hadron dispersion relations, the "Edge of the Wedge Theorem" in the function theory of several complex variables, the Goldberger-Miyazawa-Oehme sum rule, reduction of quantum field theories, Oehme-Zimmermann superconvergence relations for gauge field correlation functions, and many other contributions.

Oehme was born in Wiesbaden, Germany as the son of Dr. Reinhold Oehme and Katharina Kraus. In 1952, in São Paulo, Brazil, he married Mafalda Pisani, who was born in Berlin as the daughter of Giacopo Pisani and Wanda d'Alfonso. Mafalda died in Chicago in August of the year 2004.

Education and career

Completing the Abitur at the Rheingau Gymnasium in Geisenheim near Wiesbaden, Oehme started to study physics and mathematics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main,[2] receiving the Diploma in 1948 as student of Erwin Madelung.[3] Then he moved to Göttingen, joining the Max Planck Institute for Physics as a doctoral student of Werner Heisenberg, who was also a professor at the University of Göttingen.[4][5] Early in 1951, Oehme completed the requirements for his Dr.rer.nat at Göttingen Universität. The translation of the title of his thesis is: „Creation of Photons in Collisions of Nucleons[6] Later this year, Heisenberg asked him to join Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker on a trip to Brazil for the start-up of the Instituto de Física Teórica in São Paulo,[7] considered also as a possible escape in view of the tense situation in Europe. In 1953, he returned to his assistant position at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen. During the early fifties, the Institute was a most interesting place. Oehme was there among an exceptional group of people around Heisenberg, including Vladimir Glaser, Rolf Hagedorn, Fritz Houtermans, Gerhard Lüders, Walter Thirring, Kurt Symanzik, Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker, Wolfhart Zimmermann, Bruno Zumino, who all have made important contributions to physics at some time. A year later, with Heisenberg's recommendation to his friend Enrico Fermi, Oehme was offered a research associate position at the University of Chicago, where he worked at the Institute for Nuclear Studies. Publications associated with this period are described below under Work. In the fall of 1956, he moved to Princeton as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study,[8] returning in 1958 to the University of Chicago as a professor in the Department of Physics and at the Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies. Since 1998, he is professor emeritus.[9]

  • Visiting Professor Positions*:

University of Maryland, College Park, 1957; Universität Wien, Austria 1961; Imperial College, London1963-64; Universität Karlsruhe, Germany, 1974, 1975, 1977; University of Tokyo, Japan, 1976, 1988; Research Institute of Fundamental Physics, University of Kyoto, Japan, 1976.

  • Visiting Positions*:

Instituto de Física Teórica, São Paulo, Brasil; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; CERN, Geneva, Switzerland; International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Miramare-Trieste, Italy; Max Planck Institute for Physics, München, Germany.

  • Awards*:

Guggenheim Fellow, 1963-64: Humboldt Price, 1974; Japan Society (JSPS) Award, 1976. Fellow: American Physical Society.

(*For citations see corresponding publications and acknowledgements in publications. [10])


Dispersion Relations, GMO Sum Rule, and Edge of the Wedge Theorem

In 1954 in Chicago, Oehme studied the analytic properties of forward Scattering amplitudes in quantum field theories. He found that particle-particle and antiparticle-particle amplitudes are connected by analytic continuation in the complex energy plane. These results led to the paper by him with Marvin L. Goldberger and Hironari Miyazawa on the dispersion relations for pion-nucleon scattering, which also contains the Goldberger-Miyazawa-Oehme Sum Rule. [11] [12] There is good agreement with the experimental results of the Fermi Group at Chicago, the Lindenbaum Group at Brookhaven and others. The GMO Sum Rule is often used in the analysis of the pion-nucleon system. [13] Oehme published a proper derivation of hadronic forward dispersion relations on the basis of local quantum field theory in an article published in Il Nuovo Cimento.[14] His proof remains valid in gauge theories with confinement.[15] The analytic connection Oehme found between particle and antiparticle amplitudes is the first example of a fundamental feature of local quantum field theory: the crossing property. It is proven here, in a non-perturbative setting, on the basis of the analytic properties of amplitudes which are a consequence of locality and spectrum, like the dispersion relations. For generalizations, one still relies mostly on perturbation theory. For the purpose of using the powerful methods of the theory of functions of several complex variables for the proof of non-forward dispersion relations, and for analytic properties of other Greens functions, Oehme formulated and proved a fundamental theorem which he called the “Edge of the Wedge Theorem” (“Keilkanten Theorem”). This work was done mainly in the Fall of 1956 at the Institute for Advanced Study in collaboration with Hans-Joachim Bremermann and John G. Taylor. [16][17] Using microscopic causality and spectral properties, the BOT theorem provides an initial region of analyticity, which can be enlarged by "Analytic Completion". Oehme first presented these results at the Princeton University Colloquium during the winter semester 1956/57. Independently, a different and elaborate proof of non-forward dispersion relations has been published by Nikolay Bogoliubov and collaborators. [18] The Edge of the Wedge Theorem of BOT has many other applications. For example, it can be used to show that, in the presence of (spontaneous) violations of Lorentz invariance, micro-causality (locality), together with positivity of the energy, implies Lorentz invariance of the energy- momentum spectrum.[19] Together with Marvin L. Goldberger and Yoichiro Nambu, Oehme also has formulated dispersion relations for nucleon-nucleon scattering.[20]

Charge Conjugation Non-Conservation

On August 7, 1956, Oehme wrote a letter [21] to C.N. Yang in which it is shown that weak interactions must violate charge conjugation conservation in the event of a positive outcome of the polarization experiment in beta-decay. Since parity conservation leads to the same restrictions, he points out that C and P must BOTH be violated in order to get an asymmetry. Hence, at the level of ordinary weak interactions, CP is the relevant symmetry, and not C and P individually. [22] Violation of C is one of the fundamental conditions [23] for the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe. The results of Oehme form the basis for the later experimental effort to study CP Symmetry, and the fundamental discovery of non-conservation at a lower level of interaction strength. [24][25] As indicated above, the letter is reprinted in the book on Selected Papers by C.N. Yang.[26] Prompted by the letter, T D Lee, R Oehme and C N Yang provided a detailed discussion of the interplay of non-invariance under P, C and T, and of applications to the Kaon - anti-Kaon complex.[27] Their results are of importance for the description of the CP violation discovered later. In their paper the authors already consider non-invariance under T (time reversal) and hence, given the assumption of CPT symmetry, also under CP.

Propagators and OZ Superconvergence Relations

In connection with an exact structure analysis for gauge theory propagators, undertaken by Oehme in collaboration with Wolfhart Zimmermann, [28] [29] he obtained "Superconvergence Relations" for theories where the number of matter fields (flavors) is below a given limit. These "Oehme-Zimmernann Relations" provide a link between long- and short-distance properties of the theory. They are of importance for gluon confinement.[30] These results about propagators depend essentially only upon general principles.

Reduction of Quantum Field Theories

As a general method of imposing restrictions on quantum field theories with several parameters, Oehme and Zimmermann have introduced a theory of reduction of coupling constants.[31] [32] This method is based upon the renormalization group, and is more general than the imposition of symmetries.[33][34] There are solutions of the reduction equations which do not correspond to additional symmetries, but may be related to other characteristic aspects of the theory. On the other hand, supersymmetric theories do come out as possible solutions. This is an important example for the appearance of supersymmetry without imposing it explicitly. The reduction theory is finding many applications,[33] theoretical[35] and phenomenological. [36]

Other Contributions

Further contributions by Oehme, like those involving complex angular momentum, [37] Rising Cross sections,[38] Broken Symmetries, Current algebras and Weak Interactions,[39] as well as chapters in books, may be found in: (

Notes and references

  1. ^ Reinhard Oehme, theoretical physicist, 1928–2010. University of Chicago, October 12, 2010, retrieved May 19, 2011
  2. ^
  3. ^ HTML See third last paragraph; translation of relevant passage: “As Friedrich Hund found out, directly after the war MADELUNG had particularly capable students and collaborators. Here we mention the following physicists, who’s later successful carer became known: ..., REINHARD OEHME (Professor of Theoretical Physics, Chicago) ....”
  4. ^,+Werner.
  5. ^ Peter Freund (2007). A Passion for Discovery, p.13. World Scientific Pub. Co., London. ISBN 981-270-646-1.
  6. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Z. Physik 129, 573 (1951), “Erzeugung von Photonen beim Zusammenstoß von Nukleonen“. Eingegangen: 28. Februar 1951. (See end of Abstract for the appreciation of his teacher Werner Heisenberg).
  7. ^ (See Instituição, HISTÓRICO, third paragraph)
  8. ^ (See page 297)
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ M. L. Goldberger, H. Miyazawa, and R. Oehme , Phys. Rev. 99, 986 - 988 (1955) "Application of Dispersion Relations to Pion-Nucleon Scattering".
  12. ^ Reinhard Oehme , Phys. Rev. 100, 1503 - 1512 (1955)“Dispersion Relations for Pion-Nucleon Scattering” I.
  13. ^ For Example: V. V. Abaev, P. Metsä and M. E. Sainio , Eur. Phys. J. A 32, 321 (2007) “The Goldberger-Miyazawa-Oehme sum rule revisited”.arXiv:0704.3167v2 [hep-ph]
  14. ^ Reinhard Oehme , Il Nuovo Cimento 4(1956)1316 “Causality and Dispersion Relations for the Scattering of Mesons by fixed Nucleons”; Appendix: Proof of Relativistic Forward Dispersion Relations.
  15. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Talk given at 11th International Conference on Mathematical Physics, Paris, France, 18-23 Jul 1994 , Int.J.Mod.Phys.A10:1995-2014,1995. “Analytic structure of amplitudes in gauge theories with confinement”.
  16. ^ H. J. Bremermann, R. Oehme and J.G. Taylor, “UNE DEMONSTRATION POSSIBLE DES RELATIONS DE DISPERSION” presented at Les Problemes Mathematiques de la Theorie Quantique des Champs, Colloques Internationaux du CNRS, Lille, France, 3-8 Juin 1957, printed in Colloques Internationaux du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LXXV, 169 (1959).
  17. ^ H.J. Bremermann, R. Oehme and J.G. Taylor , Phys.Rev.109(1958) 2178 “Proof of Dispersion Relations in Quantized Field Theories”; Appendix: “The Edge of the Wedge Theorem”. (This paper contains references to the work of Nikolay Bogoliubov and others.)
  18. ^ N. N. Bogoliubov and D. V. Shirkov, "Introduction to the Theory of Quantized Fields", John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated 1959, ISBN 0-471-04223-4 / 9780471042235.
  19. ^ H.J. Borchers (Dec 1984) "Locality and Covariance of the Spectrum", Fizika 17:289-304,1985 and references given there.
  20. ^ Marvin L. Goldberger, Yoichiro Nambu and Reinhard Oehme,, Ann.Phys.(N.Y.) 2:226(1956) "Dispersion Relations for Nucleon-Nucleon Scattering." In accordance with the results of Oehme about the analytic continuation of amplitudes, these relations contain integrals involving nucleon-nucleon and nucleon-antinucleon total cross sections, as well as absolute squares of annihilation amplitudes.
  21. ^ Yang, C.N. (1983). Selected papers 1945-1980, with commentary (Chen Ning Yang), p.32, 33. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco 1983. ISBN 0-7167-1406-X.
  22. ^ Coulomb distortions of the electron wave function can be experimentally separated due to their Z and p dependence.
  23. ^ Andrei Sakharov, Pisma Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 5 (1967), 32
  24. ^ J.H. Christensen, J. Cronin, V.F. Fitch, and R. Turlay Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 138 - 140 (1964) “Evidence for the 2π Decay of the K20 Meson”.
  25. ^ James W. Cronin Rev. Mod. Phys. 53, 373 - 383 (1981) “CP symmetry violation—the search for its origin”, Nobel lecture, Dec 1980.
  26. ^ Yang, C.N. (1983). Selected papers 1945-1980, with commentary (Chen Ning Yang), p.32, 33. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco 1983. ISBN 0-7167-1406-X
  27. ^ T.D. Lee (Columbia U.), Reinhard Oehme, Chen-Ning Yang (Princeton, Inst. Advanced Study) , Phys.Rev.106:340-345,1957. “Remarks on Possible Noninvariance Under Time Reversal and Charge Conjugation.”
  28. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Wolfhart Zimmermann (Chicago U., EFI & Chicago U. & Munich, Max Planck Inst.) EFI-79/28-CHICAGO, May 1979, 47pp. , Phys.Rev.D21:471,1980 "Quark And Gluon Propagators In Quantum Chromodynamics".
  29. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Wolfhart Zimmermann, EFI-79/51-CHICAGO, MPI-PAE/PTh 38/79, (Received Oct (1979) , Phys.Rev.D21:1661, 1980. "Gauge Field Propagator and the Number Of Fermion Fields".
  30. ^ Reinhard Oehme, MPI-PAE-PTH-39-90, EFI-90-50, Jul 1990. 34pp. , Phys.Rev.D42:4209-4221,1990. "Renormalization group, BRST cohomology, and the problem of confinement". (This paper contains references to the work of K. Nishijima and others.)
  31. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Wolfhart Zimmermann, MPI-PAE/PTh 60/82, , Commun.Math.Phys.97:569,1985 "Relation Between Effective Couplings for Asymptotically Free Models".
  32. ^ Reinhard Oehme, Klaus Sibold, Wolfhart Zimmermann, MPI-PAE/PTh 36/84, May 1984 , Phys.Lett.B147:115,1984. "Renormalization Group Equations With Vanishing Lowest Order Of The Primary Beta Function". MPI-PAE/PTh 87/84, EFI-85-05-CHICAGO, Dec 1984. 11pp. , Phys.Lett.B153:142,1985. "Construction Of Gauge Theories With A Single Coupling Parameter For Yang-Mills And Matter Fields".
  33. ^ a b R. Oehme (CERN) . CERN-TH-4245/85, Aug 1985. 34pp. , Prog.Theor.Phys.Suppl.86:215,1986 "Reduction And Reparametrization Of Quantum Field Theories". (Dedicated to Yoichiro Nambu on the occasion of his 65th birthday.) This paper contains further references
  34. ^ W. Zimmermann, MPI-PAE/PTh-49/84, Jul 1984. 24pp. , Commun.Math.Phys.97:211,1985. "Reduction in the Number of Coupling Parameters". (Dedicated to the memory of Kurt Symanzik.)
  35. ^ For example: Reinhard Oehme, Talk given at Ringberg Symposium on Quantum Field Theory, Ringberg Castle, Germany, 21-24 Jun 1998. Lect. Notes in Phys.558:136-156,2000 “Reduction of coupling parameters and duality.”
  36. ^ For example: J. Kubo, M. Mondragon, G. Zoupanos, hep-ph/9703289, Acta Phys. Polon.B27:3911-3944,1997 "Unification beyond GUTs: Gauge Yukawa unification", Lectures given at Cracow School of Theoretical Physics, 1996 and Bruno Pontecorvo School on Elementary Particle Physics, 1996.
  37. ^ For example: Reinhard Oehme, “High Energy Scattering and Relativistic Dispersion Theory”, Ravenna Lectures, in ’’Dispersion Relations and their Connection with Causality’’, edited by E. P. Wigner (Academic Press, New York 1964) pp. 167-256.
  38. ^ Reinhard Oehme, “Rising Cross Sections”, Lecture given in July 1971 at DESY, before rising cross sections were experimentally discovered. Springer Tracts in Modern Physics 61:109 (1972).
  39. ^ For example: Reinhard Oehme , Phys.Rev.Lett. 16, 215-217 (1966). "Current Algebras and the Suppression of Leptonic Meson Decays with DeltaS=1".
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