Franz Daniel Kahn
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Franz Daniel Kahn

Franz Kahn

Franz Daniel Kahn

(1926-05-13)13 May 1926
Nuremberg, Germany
Died8 February 1998(1998-02-08) (aged 71)
Resting placeManchester
EducationSt Paul's School, London
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA, DPhil)
Carla Copeland (m. 1950⁠–⁠1981)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Manchester
ThesisSome problems concerning the luminosity and other properties of the upper atmosphere
Doctoral advisorSydney Chapman[2]
Doctoral students

Franz Daniel Kahn [5] (1926-1998) was a mathematician and astrophysicist at the University of Manchester.[6][7][8] He was Professor of Astronomy from 1966 to 1993, then Emeritus thereafter in the School of Physics and Astronomy.[9]


Kahn was educated at St Paul's School, London from 1940 to 1944,[6] after which he secured an open scholarship to The Queen's College, Oxford.[9][6] After graduating with first-class honours in mathematics in 1947 he moved to Balliol College, Oxford in 1948 as a Skynner senior student.[6] He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1950 for research supervised by Sydney Chapman on the luminosity of the upper atmosphere.[2][10]

Research and career

According to his certificate of election as a Fellow of the Royal Society:

Franz Kahn has made many original contributions to plasma astrophysics, cosmical gas dynamics and the physics of star formation, with significant early papers on the structure of ionisation fronts and collision-free shocks. More recently he has done important work on stellar winds and galactic fountains, on planetary nebulae and on remnants of novae and supernovae. His versatility is shown by papers on the spiral structure of the Galaxy, on the nature of the Local Group and the account (with the late Carla Kahn) of the Einstein-de Sitter correspondence.[11] Kahn's style is especially noteworthy for his skill in building simple mathematical models which bring out the essence of the physics.[12]

Awards and honours

Kahn was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1993.[5] He was also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS).[13]

Personal life

Kahn married Carla Copeland (Carla Kahn) in 1950 and had four children.[9] Kahn died of a heart attack in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, on 8 February 1998 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in south Manchester.[13] He was survived by his four children.[13][1]


  1. ^ a b Kahn, Jeremy (2013). "About my father: Franz Kahn".
  2. ^ a b Franz Daniel Kahn at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Sargent, Wallace Leslie William (1957). Dynamics of novae - a relativistic treatment (PhD thesis). University of Manchester.
  4. ^ O'Brien, Timothy John (1990). A model for the remnant of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi (1985) (PhD thesis). University of Manchester.
  5. ^ a b Dyson, James E.; Lynden Bell, Donald (1999). "Franz Daniel Kahn. 13 May 1926 - 8 February 1998: Elected F.R.S. 1993". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 45: 255-267. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1999.0017. ISSN 0080-4606.
  6. ^ a b c d Graham-Smith, Francis (2004). "Kahn, Franz Daniel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/69540.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ H. P., Palmer; Kahn, F.D. (1968). Quasars: their importance in astronomy and physics. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719002649. OCLC 500159318.
  8. ^ Terrell, J. (1968). "Quasars. Their Importance in Astronomy and Physics. F. D. Kahn and H. P. Palmer. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1967. xii + 112 pp". Science. 159 (3812): 291-292. doi:10.1126/science.159.3812.291. ISSN 0036-8075.
  9. ^ a b c "KAHN, Prof. Franz Daniel". Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.(subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  10. ^ Kahn, Franz Daniel (1950). Some problems concerning the luminosity and other properties of the upper atmosphere. (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
  11. ^ Kahn, Carla; Kahn, Franz (1975). "Letters from Einstein to de Sitter on the nature of the Universe". Nature. 257 (5526): 451-454. Bibcode:1975Natur.257..451K. doi:10.1038/257451a0. ISSN 0028-0836.
  12. ^ Anon (1993). "Certificate of election: EC/1993/20 Franz Daniel Kahn (1926-1998)". London: Royal Society. Bibcode:1975Natur.257..451K. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Dyson, John (1998). "Franz Daniel Kahn FRS 1926-1998". Astronomy & Geophysics. 39 (5): 5.32-5.33. doi:10.1093/astrog/ ISSN 1366-8781.

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