Ernst Ising

1900 - 1998


The Author


Ernst Ising was born in Cologne (Germany) in 1900. After school, he studied physics and mathematics at the universities of Göttingen and Hamburg. In 1922, he began researching ferromagnetism under the guidance of Wilhelm Lenz. This research culminated in his dissertation in 1924. In 1930, he obtained a teaching position at the high school in Strausberg/Berlin. In the same year he married the economist Dr. Johanna Ehmer. The life of the Isings became very complicated when the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933. Ernst, a Jew, was dismissed from his job as a civil servant. In 1934, he became a teacher and later the headmaster in a boarding school for Jewish students who had been thrown out of public schools. During the pogrom against Jewish population in Germany in 1938, the school was destroyed and Ernst questioned by the Gestapo. In 1939, the Isings fled to Luxembourg. During the Nazi occupation, Ernst earned money as a shepherd and railroad worker. After the liberation by the Allies, the Isings decided to go to America and they arrived in New York in 1946. In 1948, Ernst became Professor of Physics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He taught there for 28 years, retiring at the age of 76. He died at his home in Peoria in 1998.




The Works


Beitrag zur Theorie des Ferro- und Paramagnetismus (1924)

Contribution to the Theory of Ferromagnetism

English translation of the excerpt of the dissertation

«Beitrag zur Theorie des Ferromagnetismus»,

in: Zeitschrift für Physik, Bd. XXXI, 1925, , pp. 253-258

Goethe as a Physicist (1950)





The Hamburg dissertation (1924) in german

The Fate of Ernst Ising and the Fate of his Model

The Ising Conference in Cologne

Ising Centennial Colloquium in Brazil

Ising Model WWW-References

Peter McMahon, To crack the toughest optimization problems, just add lasers. An odd device known

as an optical Ising machine could route airplanes and help the NFL schedule its games