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Rolf Wideröe papers, 1942-1945

Description of Collection


American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Papers created by

Wideröe, Rolf,

Size of collection

0.75 linear feet
1 flat manuscript box
1 manuscript box

Short description of collection

Scientific reports, notes, and letters which document the work of Rolf Wideröe and others in Germany during World War II on betatron development and related topics.

Language(s) of collection


Collection number:


Biographical Note

Physicist (accelerator and nuclear physics; medical application of physics). Engineer, Allemeine Elektrizitätsgesellschaft, Berlin, 1928-1932; Norsk Elektrisk og Brown Boveri, Oslo, 1940-1945; and Brown Boveri, Baden from 1946. Died 1996.

Scope and Contents of Collection

Scientific reports, notes, and letters document the work of Rolf Wideröe and others in Germany during World War II on betatron (a type of particle accelerator) development and related topics. In 1945, he took these papers to Norway where he was interned in a concentration camp near Oslo. While there, Wideröe wrote a detailed account of his research during the war, covering both the theoretical and practical questions of construction of the betatron, and was interviewed by Captain Gunnar Randers for the ALSOS Mission investigation of German atomic bomb research. Randers assembled this collection for a report to Samuel A. Goudsmit, head of the ALSOS Mission.

Restrictions on Use and Access

Researchers must have an approved access application on file in order to access archival materials.

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.


Goudsmit, Samuel A. (Samuel Abraham), 1902-1978
Randers, Gunnar, 1914-
Wideröe, Rolf, 1902-

Subject terms

Atomic bomb.
Nuclear physics. Germany.
Nuclear physics. Research. Germany.
Particle accelerators.
World War, 1939-1945.

Genre terms

Laboratory notes.

Organization and Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into a single series: Series I: Papers

Provenance and Acquisition Information

Received from Donald W. Kerst who had received them from Samuel A. Goudsmit, 1975.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Melanie J. Mueller in 2014.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Rolf Wideröe papers, 1942-1945. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the Rolf Wideröe papers, 1942-1945


American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740


Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Melanie J. Mueller in 2014. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: Papers

Box 1 Folder 1 Binder of notes, letters, reprints and manuscripts - Strahlentransformator, undated
Box 2 Folder 1 Documents from Gunnar Randers - Wideröe opus on betatron, microfilm of Wideröe's papers, copies from Wideröe's files, undated
Folder 2 Gunnar Randers - visit to Wideröe in Oslo [betatron material], 1945
Folder 3 Wideröe file [compiled by Randers, betatron material], undated
Folder 4 Wideröe files, undated
Folder 5 Wideröe files, undated
Folder 6 Report on the betatron, "Megavolt Laboratory," Wrist-Kellinghusen, written by Dr. Kollath (C. A. Baumann, Alsos), undated