Hermann Hartmann


Born May 4, 1914 in Bischofsheim (Rhön), Germany. Deceased 1984.

He studied chemistry in Munich (with Sommerfeld) and since 1939 in Frankfurt where he received his PhD (1941) and did his Habilitation (1943). After World War II he became Docent in Frankfurt (1946), then leader of a division in the Max-Planck-Institut Physikalische Chemie Göttingen (1951) and Director of the Institut für Physikalische Chemie at the University of Frankfurt (1952). Since 1973 he had also a small Research Institut in Glashütten (Taunus) supported by the Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaften. Emeritus in 1982.

He was a member of Academia Nazionale del Lincei, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Comitato Premio of Fondazione Balzan, Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, korresponding member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur zu Mainz.

Author of:

220 scientific papers published in journals of physical and theoretical chemistry.

Important Contributions:

Hartmann's scientific work covers a broad area of physical and theoretical chemistry. In his spectroscopic studies he used the entire range from x-ray, optical, infrared, microwave to NMR. His investigations of kinetic processes show experiments with peptides, organic radicals, the influence of pressure and solvation and in later years ion-molecule reactions using ion-cyclotron resonance. His theoretical work influenced considerably the development of ligand field theory. He favored π-electron theories and simple models rather than complicated numerical calculations. He was an excellent teacher. He had a great influence on the development of theoretical chemistry in Germany. In 1954 his book "Theorie der chemischen Bindung auf quantentheoretischer Grundlage" appeared. He arranged regularly summer schools in theoretical chemistry. In 1962 he established the international journal Theoretica Chimica Acta (TCA), which took contributions in German, French, English and even in Latin. After his death the name was broadened to Theoretical Chemical Accounts : Theory, Computation and Modelling, but the initials TCA were kept.

An obituary can be found at