Memories of Professor Erwin Hahn

Professor Erwin Hahn

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Nuclear Quadrupole Double Resonance

"My late Nuclear Quadrupole Double Resonance colleague, Professor John AS Smith (King's College London) introduced me to Prof. Hahn in Dec 1978 during the Faraday Society Symposium on Solid State NMR held at Queen Elizabeth College (QEC), London. After the symposium, Prof. Hahn visited my laboratory - he sat down and had discussed with me using pen & paper (I am deaf without speech) on my very recent observation of 17O NQR signals at natural abundance. He made a nice compliment on this and encouraged me to stay in NMR & NQR field. Now, nearly 40 years later, I am still in the same field. I am grateful to him. During my time at QEC, Prof. Smith was invited to nominate someone for 1978 Nobel Physics Prize so it was no wonder that we decided on Prof. Hahn for the Nobel Physics Prize - all kinds of pulsed NMR & NQR especially FTNMR (Ernst) & MRI (Mansfield) are based on spin echos."  

Dr Iain JF Poplett

Exerpt from Letter to Erwin Hahn from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance on the Occasion of His 90th Birthday, 2011

"We all benefit tremendously from your early discovery. In fact, we can hardly think of NMR experiments today, in liquids as in solids, which do not take advantage of refocusing of coherences you introduced in 1950 already. Likewise, in EPR echoes become more and more popular and have changed the applicability of pulsed techniques remarkably. Last, but not least, you have introduced concept from magnetic resonance into optics. Your publications are rather ‘scarce’, but of seldom met impact. As a specific example, I would like to mention Hartmann-Hahn cross-polarization.

We consider it a great privilege to know you in person and can even call you our friend. I’m glad that the International Society of Magnetic Resonance has recognized your outstanding achievements by the ISMAR Prize 40 years ago already and made you one of the first ISMAR Fellows, when this distinction was introduced by Paul Callaghan a few years ago.

We miss you at our conferences and wish you all the best for years to come!"  

~Hans Wolfgang Spiess, (previous) ISMAR President 

On behalf of ISMAR

"On behalf of ISMAR I would like to share with the Hahn family and the UC Berkeley Physics Department our profound sorrow at the recent passing away of Erwin Hahn.  Erwin Hahn was a great scientist, a great physicist and, above all, a great human being.  An ISMAR Fellow and a recipient of the ISMAR prize he was one of the strong pillars on which magnetic resonance stand.
We will miss him and cherish his legacy."   

~Daniella Goldfarb, ISMAR president 

"Erwin welcomed me to Berkeley and provided the feelings of warmth, humor, integrity, and high standards that I've felt for the past 52 years. Needless to say I will miss him a great deal."   

~Marvin L. Cohen