Georg Zundel

Georg Zundel (May 17, 1931 – March 11, 2007) was a German physical chemist, tenured professor of biophysics at University of Munich, peace activist, environmentalist and philanthropist.

His father Georg was a painter and his mother was the daughter of the German industrialist Robert Bosch.

As a scientist, a physicist, he achieved a worldwide reputation for hydrogen bond research. He worked closely with colleagues from both the East and the West during the Cold War. He published 313 scientific papers during his academic career. A number of scientific discoveries in the area of hydrogen bonds carry Zundel's name, most notably:

  • the Zundel cation (H5O2+) which is an important structure for the solvated hydrogen ion in water
  • Zundel polarizability, the property of hydrogen bonds to have hydrogen protons shifted by means of an electric field
  • Zundel continuity, the property of hydrogen bonds to absorb a wide range of ions

As an entrepreneur he founded the Berghof Laboratory of Physics and Technology in 1966, re-organised in 2003 as Zundel Holding GmbH + Co with four companies in different locations throughout Germany, active in the automation and environmental sectors.

As a philanthropist he established the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies in 1971, which soon came to play a defining role in the then-emerging field of peace research. The Foundation's main establishments are:

  • Berghof Conflict Research, BCR (formerly: Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management, BRC), established 1993, since 1977 in partnership with the Institute for Peace Education Tübingen / Georg Zundel House
  • Berghof Peace Support, BPS (Berghof Foundation for Peace Support, BFPS), established 2004.

In this area, he was awarded the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in 2003.

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