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Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer (born January 31, 1929) is a German physicist who studied gamma rays from nuclear transitions.

Mössbauer was born in Munich. He won, along with Robert Hofstadter of the United States, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1961 for his 1957 discovery of the Mössbauer effect — research which he carried out as a PhD student at the Munich University of Technology (TUM).

He became a professor at Caltech in 1961. Only three years later, his alma mater, the physics department of the TUM,convinced him to come back as full professor, where he still is professor emeritus.

Combining an umlaut and an eszett in his name, his name (and the effect named for him) has a notorious amount of spelling variations in English texts: Mößbauer is correct, Moessbauer the correct German umlaut-free style, Mossbauer technically wrong, but extremely common and Mosbauer also seen.


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