Obituary: Dr. Hermann Adam

Dr. Hermann ADAM died unexpectedly on May 24, 1996 in his long-time vacation place on the southern English coast. He was 88 years old.

Hermann ADAM was born in Vienna on September 3, 1908. He studied at Vienna University under H THIRRING, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in physics in 1939. In the following years he worked at Siemens Röhrenlaboratorium in Berlin on thyratrons and related vacuum technology where he became in 1942 Head of the Gas Discharge Lab, devoted to research of the physical basis of discharges at low pressures. During the war, the lab was moved to Vienna, but was not reopened after the end of the war.

Following a request by British authorities in Germany in 1948, he worked at a British company in development and production of mercury discharge lamps, before he finally settled down at E. Leybold's Nachfolger in Cologne, 1960, where he stayed until his retirment in 1973 and then consulting until 1991. Within a few months he became there Head of the Scientific and Bibliographic Department, starting an interesting career and creating a world-wide reputation in the permanently broadening field of vacuum science and technology.

Hermann ADAM's numerous activities peaked, among others, when he organized the 3rd International Vacuum Congress (Stuttgart, 1965). He had been chairman of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Vakuumtechnik, the former German Vacuum Society, for six years, had served for many years as Councillor of that society to IUVSTA, assisting very efficiently in many issues of the Union, like in the Visual Aids program. He was also very active in promoting standardisation of vacuum components. Further-more, he has to be mentioned in this context as the driving force behind the journal Vakuumtechnik published by Rudolf A. Lang Verlag, for which he had worked as editor for several years.

His masterpiece was the publication of "Theorie und Praxis der Vakuumtechnik" (authors: WUTZ, ADAM, and WALCHER), based on its first edition by M. WUTZ in 1965, which Hermann ADAM edited together with W. WALCHER, leading to several editions in German and one in English. Just several weeks before he passed away he submitted the material for the new (the 6th) ecition to the publisher.

One of the mysteries of Hermann ADAM was that, although he worked very hard all the time, he never refused to deal with new tasks - always in a friendly, very humane and often humorous manner. IUVSTA and all its member societies mourn the passing away of one of their key figures during the first years, a permanent and successful supporter of their activities until these days, recognizing that the scientific community of vacuum science, technique and applications has lost a brillian member supplying valuable and ingenious contributions to their activities.

Rudolf Dobrozemsky
Vienna, Austria

Bulletin Contents IUVSTA Home Page