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Obituary: Dr John Hirsch

Birkbeck alumnus and former Reader in Physics

It is with sadness that we would like to inform you of the death of Dr John Hirsch.

Dr Hirsch emigrated from Berlin to Britain in 1938 and obtained a BSc in Physics from Birkbeck in 1944. During his studies, he worked at the EMI research laboratories developing cathode ray tube screens for radar displays. The experience of instrument and circuit design together with an interest in insulation gained at EMI led to his subsequent PhD, awarded in 1950, for research at Birkbeck with Professor JD Bernal and W Ehrenberg.

From 1951 to 1956 he worked on semiconductors at the Electrical Research Association in Perrivale, returning to the Physics Department of Birkbeck in 1956, first as a postdoctoral researcher then moving to a lectureship, and eventually becoming a Reader before retiring in 1986. His work on semiconductors continued after retirement as a visiting lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, London.

Dr Hirsch died peacefully on 9 October 2010 and will be greatly missed by his children Peter, Penny, Stella and Ann, and by his brother Peter.