(Died: August 29, 1970)
Professor of Physics
Interests: Special Relativity Age: 68
Professor, Dr. phil. habil., HANS ISRAEL died on the 29th of August 1970 in the small town of Wetter near Marburg in Germany. He had been sick for about half a year but hoped for a long time that this would be only a passing illness. With him science loses one of the very last personalities who still overlooked the whole area of atmospheric electricity and geophysical radioactivity; his numerous pupils deeply regret the loss of a master of the synopsis of ideas and facts, and a teacher of exactness and self-criticism in scientific work...
These efforts are witnessed now in more than three hundred publications, translated, in part, into at least four foreign languages; in six books (plus a further one which has to be completed by his son) and in longer contributions to about twenty review volumes. In addition, he was the editor of three more books and co-editor of several scientific journals. His activity as a teacher is laid down in at least three books and also demonstrated by the great number of his pupils on both the master's and doctor's levels.
His pupils will especially remember one of his strengths as teacher: his openness towards scientific critique even from the beginner, and his sharp rejection of any un-scientific critique (in particular, if defense of the working facilities for him and his pupils was of concern). How vivid scientific discussions with him could be will remain unforgettable to me because of the almost shocked reaction of Mrs. ISRAEL -- about to pick him up at the office - who had heard our discussion from the door of the room and obviously was afraid that stronger means might be used. In these discussions, the nestor of atmospheric electricity was just one among others, always ready to be convinced by someone else, but always insisting on clear arguments and strong self-criticism. - Hans Dolezalek, "Hans Israel: an Obituary", Pure and Applied Geophysics, Volume 100, Number 1, 5-7, DOI: 10.1007/BF00880223