Physical and Theoretical Chemistry (1923-1974)

This chemistry institute was placed at first at Universitätsplatz 1 (= Halbärthgasse 5 = Schubertstrasse 1), and since 1969 at Heinrichstrasse 28

Photos of the institute at Schubertstrasse 1 - .... and of the new institute building at Heinrichstrassse 28

Time Chairmen, coworkers and events Portraits, photos and links
1923-1927

Due to a new trend of specialization, in 1919 the laboratory of physical chemistry was founded. In 1923 the institute of physical and theoretical chemistry was separated from the chemistry institute with Robert KREMANN (born 1879 in Iglau/Mähren, +1937 in Graz) as head of this institute . (venia). He was student of Skraup and got his doctoral degree in 1902 at the university of Graz. Between 1901 and 1903 he studied physical chemistry at the physicochemical institutes of Germany in the labs of Ostwald, Elbs (Giessen) and Nernst (Leipzig), and Küster (Klausthal). He got his venia in 1905 for general and physical chemistry. His research work was dedicated to the investigation of binary systems, and later uv spectroscopy.

Under Kremann´s guidance, in 1927 a small new block was added to the chemistry building.

In 1937, the German Bunsen society held its meeting in Graz under the guidance of Kremann.

In this era the following chemists got the venia legendi:

Robert MÜLLER (born 1897 in Graz, +1951 in Kassel/Germany) got his doctoral degree in 1920 as student of Kremann. In 1923 he obtained venia for inorganic, physical and electrochemistry. Since 1929 he was professor at the Montan University of Leoben.

Max PESTEMER (born 1908 in Graz, +1975 in Graz) later head of the institute, was student of Kremann and Kohlrausch and got his doctoral degree in 1930. In 1935 he obtained the venia for theoretical and physical chemistry.

Pic of Kremann
Robert Kremann
1937-1940

After Kremann's sudden death, Max PESTEMER (venia and data) was head of the institute for 3 years. Pestemer was pioneer of absorption spectroscopic methods. Because there were no funds for his spectroscopic apparatus, Pestemer designed the apparatus, and Mr. Harzl, the precision instrument-maker of the institute, constructed it with success. In 1941 he left Graz and was professor in Kiel, later he built up the spectroscopic department at Bayer Leverkusen.

Pic of Pestemer
Max Pestemer
1940-1945

In this time Armin DADIEU (born 1901 in Marburg/Drau, + 1978 in Graz) was head of the institute. He got his doctoral degree in 1926 at the university of technology of Graz and obtained in 1929 the venia legendi for physical chemistry. He was also head of the Physical Chemistry institute of the University of Technology since 1931 (there were intents to amalgamate the chemistry institutes of both universities, but the end of ww2 stopped these plans). Since 1938, Dadieu was 'Gauhauptmann' (deputy governor of the Nazi regime) of Styria. He was student of Kohlrausch at the university of technology of Graz, and in this time his research was directed to Raman effects . During ww2, his research was top secret (probably missiles fuel from 90% hydrogen peroxide). Dadieu was rarely at the institute, and most of the administration and education work had to be done by Pestemer, later Schauenstein and Kahovec. In 1945 Dadieu escaped to Argentinia and came later back to Germany, where he worked in missiles industry.

In this era, Ludwig KAHOVEC (born 1909 in Vienna) obtained the venia legendi. He got his doctoral degree in 1936 at the university of Vienna as student of Späth and Kohlrausch. In 1941 he obtained the venia for physical chemistry. Later he was in the next era and from 1972-1974 temporary head of the institute.

Pic of Dadieu
Armin Dadieu
1945-1946

During this time, Ludwig KAHOVEC was temporary head ot the institute. His research work was wide spread, from structure elucidation of alkaloids, publications using the Raman effect, and in later years X-ray small angle scattering methods.

Pic of Kahovec
Ludwig Kahovec
1946-1972

In this long lasting era, Otto KRATKY (born 1902 in Vienna, +1995 in Graz) was head of the institute. He got his doctoral degree in 1927 at the university of technolgy of Vienna as student of Mark. In 1937 he obtained the venia for physical chemistry in Vienna. In 1940 he was director of the x-ray departement of the Kaiser-Wilhelm institute in Berlin. In 1943, he was appointed as professor at the institute of physical chemistry in Prag, and 1946 he came to Graz. His most famous research works were X-ray small-angle scattering methods, especially measurements of polymers and biopolymers, and besides this he supported density determination methods on an electronic basis.

Kratky was rector in 1956/57. Together with Zinke he was responsible that the growing chemistry institutes got an additional building at Heinrichstrasse 28. In this era, the institute´s name was changed to "physical chemistry". (Since 1971, the Institute of Theoretical Chemistry was planned).

In 1970, the 2nd international symposium of X-ray small-angle scattering was organized in Graz, and in 1971 a course on X-ray small-angle scattering of the European molecular biology organization was held in Graz.

In Kratky´s era, many physical chemists got their venia:

Erwin SCHAUENSTEIN (born 1918 in Graz, +1999 in Graz), got his doctoral degree in 1940 as student of Pestemer. In 1950 he obtained the venia for physical chemistry. His research dealt in this time with uv spectroscopy. Later he was the first head of the new founded institute of biochemistry.

Hans A. LEOPOLD (born 1937 in Graz) studied physics at the university of technology of Graz and got his doctoral degree in 1962. In 1971 he obtained the venia for applied physics. He developed together with H. STABINGER a precision method for density measurements by oscillation. In 1984 he was appointed as professor of microelectronics at the university of technology of Graz.

Günther POROD (born 1919 in Faak/Villach, +1984 in Graz) studied physics and chemistry and got his doctoral degree in 1947 as student of Kratky. In 1952 he obtained the venia for physical chemistry. He was Kratky´s most important coworker in X-ray small angle scattering. In 1965 he was appointed as professor of experimental physics at the university of Graz.

Josef SCHURZ (born 1924 in Zeltweg), later head of the institute of physical chemistry, got his doctoral degree in 1951 as student of Kratky. In 1958 he obtained the venia for physical chemistry. His research was directed to macromolecular chemistry.

Ingrid PILZ (nee Petzold, born 1931 in Prag) got her doctoral degree (sub auspiciis praesidentis) in 1956 as student of Kratky. In 1970 she obtained the venia for physical chemistry and was later professor of the biophysical division. Her research was the investigation of biological macromolecules with x-ray methods. Another non-scientific side of publications are her famous and marvellous travel books with her excellent landscape photographs.

Pic of Kratky
Otto Kratky
Pic of Stabinger
Hans Stabinger
1972-1974

Again, Ludwig KAHOVEC was temporary head of the institute. More data about venia and research.