Introduction Professor Walter Greiner

Professor Walter Greiner a theoretical scientist, was born on Oct 29, 1935, in Neuenbau, Sonnenberg, and died Oct 15, 2016, at the age of 80 yrs in Germany. His research interests lie in atomic physics, heavy-ion physics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics (particularly in quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics). He is known for his series of books in theoretical physics [1].

Prof. Walter Greiner scientistWalter Greiner’s books are good and instructive and cover most of theoretical physics, with a focus on quantum physics and its various parts (non-relativistic quantum mechanics, symmetries and group theory in QM, quantum field theory, QED, QCD, etc) [2]. There are helpful mathematical results and derivations as well as many worked out exercises in each book. Sometimes the translation from German is not very accurate, and sometimes there are typos, but overall this book series is useful and informative [3].

Collaboration with Indian Scientist:

Professor Greiner was also associated with Indian Scientist (Physicists) (Prof. Raj K Gupta, PU Chandigarh, and Prof. S K Patra, IOP Bhubaneswar) and contributed significantly in Superheavy Nuclei research.

Walter Greiner’s remarkably productive life of a brilliant scientist devoted to theoretical nuclear science during the last four decades is an example of an unparalleled success story. Many new topics in Nuclear Structure, Nuclear Reactions, Atomic Physics, and Particle Physics were initiated by him and he has been a leading scientist for many years, guiding the experiments, and other theoretical developments. One can mention some of them below.

Nuclear polarization in muonic atoms. Rotation-vibration model. Dynamic collective model of giant resonances. Eigenchannel theory of the S-matrix nuclear reactions. Superheavy nuclei, structure, stability against fission, alpha decay and electron capture. Electronic structure of superheavies.

Theory of nuclear molecules, coupled channel formulation of nuclear molecular reactions. The two center shell model which is fundamental for all fission and fusion processes. Generalized collective model (Gneuss-Greiner model). Fragmentation theory. Prediction of the cold valley for the fusion of superheavy elements.

Calculations of PES exhibiting the cold valleys for fusion, cold fission bimodal fission, cluster radioactivities, and alpha decay. Quantum Electro Dynamics of strong fields, spontaneous pair creation, superheavy quasimolecules. Supercritical fields in other areas like gravitation (Hawking radiation) and strong color fields. The prediction of nuclear shock waves as a key mechanism for compressing and heating nuclear matter.

This work initiated high energy nuclear physics: search for the nuclear equation of state and possible phase transitions. Antimatter clusters emitted from a quark-gluon plasma. Meson field theory for hot and dense nuclear matter, phase transition, chiral restoration. Meson field theory applied to nuclei and exotic objects, e.g. multi-Lambda-nuclei.

Relativistic fluid dynamics for high energy heavy-ion collisions. Antimatter production in thermal meson field theory. Quantum molecular dynamics applied to nuclear collisions. Relativistic quantum molecular dynamics. Antiflow of pions and antimatter. Quark-gluon plasma as a cluster plasma. Extension of the periodic system into the new directions of strangeness and antimatter. Structure of the baryonic and mesonic vacuum of high densities and temperature. A new mechanism for cold compression of an elementary matter by implantation of high energy antiprotons in nuclei.

A scientist with broad vision:

No one has made so many significant contributions in so many different areas of nuclear, atomic and particle physics. His seminal ideas concerning superheavy nuclei have a head enormous impact on the development and progress of heavy-ion physics in Germany (GSI) and worldwide. He has set new directions that will carry us many years into the next decades.

He extended his influence and impacts through a remarkable career in training young scientist (s) in their Ph.D. research. They now fill important positions in Universities and Industries around the world. In scientific cooperations, he stimulated, challenged, and enhanced the research of his partners in many ways. Scientist, Professor Greiner co-founded a new Institute of Research: the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. [4]

  • 1956 – 58 F.Sc. (Physics and Mathematics) University of Frankfurt/Main
  • Spring 1958 B.Sc. – University of Frankfurt/Main
  • January 1960 M.Sc. TH Darmstadt, Thesis: “Plasma-reactors”
  • 1960 – 62 Research Associate to Prof. H. Marshall Freiburg/Brsg., Germany
  • Spring 1961 Ph.D. – Freiburg/Brsg. Thesis: “Nuclear polarization in μ-mesic atoms”
  • 1962 – 64 Assistant Professor – University of Maryland (3 months Florida State University)
  • May 1964 Research Associate, University of Freiburg/Brsg.
  • August 1964 Acceptance of a chair for theoretical physics – Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main
  • Since Jan. 1965  Professor of Physics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main
  • Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics (-1995)
  • Since 1964 Various offered professorships at Duke University, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, etc., declined
  • Since 1976 Permanent Consultant to Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) Darmstadt
  • Oct. 2001 – July 2002  Dean of the Physics Faculty of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
  • Since 2003 Founding Director and Member of the Management Board, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

His doctoral students include [1]

Hartmuth Arenhövel, Ulrich Mosel, Berndt Müller, Michael Soffel, Horst Stöcker, Johann Rafelski, Gerhard Soff, Joachim Maruhn, E. D. Mshelia, Andreas Schäfer, Burkhard Fricke, Paul-Gerhard Reinhard, and Joachim Reinhardt.

 Scientific Fields of Research [2]

  1. The nuclear structure “Rotation-Vibration Model”
  2. Different proton and neutron deformations in nuclei
  3. Dynamic Collective Model of giant resonances; The spreading width of giant resonances
  4. Eigenchannel theory of nuclear reactions
  5. Generalized Collective Model (known as “Gneuß-Greiner”-Model or also the “Frankfurt” Collective Model)
  6. Prediction of superheavy nuclei
  7. The Two Center Shell Model
  8. Theory of nuclear molecules
  9. Prediction of new (“cluster”) radioactivities
  10. Bimodal and supersymmetric nuclear fission
  11. Heavy-ion physics
  12. Quantum Electrodynamics (particularly of strong, overcritical fields – “Decay of the Vacuum”)
  13. Theory of electronic quasimolecules in heavy-ion collisions
  14. Structure of superheavy and giant nuclei
  15. Shock waves in relativistic heavy-ion collisions: The key mechanism for compressing and heating nuclear matter
  16. Nuclear equation of state
  17. Pion bremsstrahlung
  18. Phase transitions of nuclear matter
  19. Production of clusters of antimatter and strange matter from the highly correlated vacuum (meson field theory)
  20. Extension of the periodic system into new directions of strangeness and antimatter.
  21. Clusters of matter and antimatter – Superdense baryonic clusters


Guest Professorships: a great scientist

National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C. (1965)
University of Melbourne (1966)University of Virginia, Charlottesville (1967)University of Saskatchewan, Sakatoon (Canada) (1968)Indiana University (1970)Florida State University (1971)University of California, Berkeley (1972)Yale University, New Haven (1974 and since then regularly)Oak Ridge National Laboratory (regularly),Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (regularly)Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, USSRUniversity of Cairo (1977)University of Madras/India (1987)Institute of Atomic Physics, Bucharest/RomaniaLos Alamos Scientific LaboratoryUniversity of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg/South AfricaArgonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago,Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (regularly),Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (regularly),Duke University (regularly)University of Arizona, Tucson
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA

Editorial positions of scientist

Editorial Board, Journal of Physics G: Nuclear Physics, England
Editorial Board, Reports on Progress of Physics, England
Honorary Editor, Journal of Physics G: Nuclear Physics, England
1990 –
Member of the Editorial Board Il Nuovo Cimento: Nuclei, particles and fields
1991 –
Managing Editor for Europe of International Journal of Modern Physics E. (World Scientific, Singapore)
1992 Editorial Board, Il Nuovo Cimento, Bologna
Editorial Board, Heavy Ion Physics, Budapest
Editorial Board, Foundations of Physics, New York – London

List of Publications

List of Books

Quantum Mechanics: Symmetries (Greiner, Walter//Theoretical Physics 2nd Corr ed)
Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4e
Nuclear Models
Relativistic Quantum Mechanics. Wave Equations
Classical Mechanics: Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics
List of Publications: Proceedings (incomplete)


  4. Series-good-and-how-do-they-compare-to-other-great-books-of-the-same-subject-individually