Reimar Lüst 1923-2020 - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Scientific Blog Post Year : 2020

Reimar Lüst 1923-2020


Reimar Lüst, of German nationality, astrophysicist, and well known for his work on cosmic rays, plasma physics, hydrodynamics and nuclear fusion, and a pioneer of European space research, passed away during the night of 31st March, in Hamburg where he lived, one week after his 97th birthday. He was the son of a Lutheran Pastor and born into a pious household in the town of Wuppertal-Barmen on 25 March 1923. He attended school in the Kessel gymnasium from 1933 until 1941 when he had to rejoin the Kriegsmarine in the cold water of the Bay of Biscay, serving as a submarine officer. His U-boat N° 528 was severely damaged, bombed and destroyed by a British depth-charge and was going to be sunk to prevent it from getting into the hands of the enemy, drowning eleven men on board. From a depth of 320 m, thanks to his physical strength and some luck, he was able to make it up to the sea surface and then swam for several hours to an English frigate which had attacked the U-boat, before being heaved onto the deck and sent as a prisoner-of-war in a camp, first in England and then in the US at Mexia, Texas, where he stayed until 1945. This was long enough for him to be appreciated by his guards for his mathematical talents, solving calculus problems on toilet paper. That is how he started his brilliant and extraordinary career.
No file

Dates and versions

hal-04065469 , version 1 (11-04-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04065469 , version 1


Roger-Maurice Bonnet. Reimar Lüst 1923-2020. 2020. ⟨hal-04065469⟩
16 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More