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    An Award for the Publication of the Coincidence Method

    Nobel Prize Gold Award Medal to Walther Bothe for Advancements in Physics 1954, 65mm/198.5g. By Lindberg. Obv: Leftward facing portions of Alfred Nobel, name in left field and birth and death years in Roman Numerals behind bust. Rev: Allegorical Nature and Science figures at center; at top legend, INVENTAS · VITAM · IUVAT EXCOLUISSE · PER · ARTES and bottom REG · ACAD · SCIENT · SUEC·; at bottom panel, WALTER BOTHE / MCMLIV. Edge: MJV / GULD / 1954. For over 115 years, the foundation established by Alfred Nobel after his death has sought to recognize the most significant contributions made to society in the advancement of peace as well as in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Economic Sciences. During that time, there have been 579 recipients of this high honor, an average of just over five every year. In 1954, the award for Physics went to Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe, who shared the award with Max Born.

    Bothe, born January 8, 1891, was a German physicist whose work helped to open up the study of the field of nuclear physics, most notably by the publication of his "Coincidence Method," whereby pairs or arrays of Geiger counters may be arranged in coincidence in order to study the angular distribution of particle motion, such as cosmic rays. Geiger's work was highly influential on Bothe's, as he worked both for and alongside Geiger for 14 years, although this was interrupted by a period of imprisonment in Russia during the First World War where Bothe made the most of his time; he learned Russian, continued work on his doctoral studies, and met his future wife. After publishing several papers on experiments related his coincidence method throughout the later 1920's and 1930's, Bothe turned his attention to the construction of the first German cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator that was first developed by Ernest Lawrence in the United States in 1934. The building of the German cyclotron was begun at the outset of World War II and fired its first deuteron beam in December of 1943. Following the war, Bothe maintained a professorship at the University of Heidelberg until his death in February of 1957, just a few short years after this prize was awarded to him. In addition to his work in the field of nuclear physics, Walther was also an avid pianist and painter.

    Essentially as-issued, this sizable gold medal, rendered in fabulous high relief, remains with its original gilt-stamped red leather box of issue. No marks of any kind, or signs of careless handling are observed. The edges are perfect. Sold alongside a leather-bound folio containing Bothe's official hand-written award certificate as well as a piece of original painted art signed "B. Kumlien" at lower right by Swedish illustrator, calligrapher and artist Bertil Kumlien. Also included are a slipcase for the award certificate and a transcription of Walther's lecture on his coincidence method given at the Nobel award ceremony (text in German).

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