Bruno Touschek Austria

Biography of Bruno Touschek

Bruno Touschek and Sam Curran
Bruno Touschek and Sam Curran

Bruno Touschek (1921-1978) was a Glasgow graduate and lecturer in Natural Philosophy from 1949 to 1952 who invented the storage ring for high-energy elementary particles.

Born in Vienna in 1921 his early academic career was blighted by anti-Semitism and he was forced to leave the University of Vienna in 1940 because his mother was Jewish. He was able to continue his studies at Hamburg, where he was unknown, and there he worked with Rolf Wideroe on the development of the Betatron, the first circular accelerator for electrons. They were already discussing the possibility of colliding stored electrons and positrons head-on. His work was disrupted by his arrest by the Gestapo in 1945 and subsequent forced march to Kiel. He survived and graduated from Gottingen in 1946.

Touschek became a DSIR fellow at the University in 1947 and began research for a PhD which was published in 1949. He then became a lecturer in Natural Philosophy and he continued to develop his work on accelerators. He left the University in 1952 and became a researcher at the National laboratories of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Frascati and a lecturer at the University of Rome-La Sapienza. He died in 1978.


Bruno Touschek
Born 3 February 1921, Vienna, Austria.
Died 25 May 1978.
GU Degree: PhD, 1949;
University Link: Alumnus, Lecturer
Occupation categories: physicists
Additional Information: An article was published in 2011 containing a section relating to Touschek's time in Glasgow: "Bruno Touschek: particle physicist and father of the e+e− collider" by Luisa Bonolis and Giulia Pancheri in The European Physical Journal H, 2011. This paper won the annual prize from the Italian Physical Society for the history of physics category.
Record last updated: 15th Aug 2012

Country Associations

Austria Austria
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Lecturer

World Changing Achievements

Bruno Touschek is listed on the University of Glasgow World Changing website.

On This Day Entries