Manfred Trümper Physiker
Manfred Trümper Physicist Manfred Trümper
Manfred Trümper Physicist
  Manfred Trümper Physicist  
    Manfred Trümper Physicist
Manfred Trümper Physicist

Manfred Trümper -- Sketch of Science-related Biography.



I was born on 05 July 1934 in Wernigerode/Germany as the second child of a

vocational school teacher. In June 1952 I graduated from the Carolinum high

school (re-named Karl-Marx-Oberschule during the soviet occupation) in Bernburg/Germany.

In fall 1952 I enrolled as a student of physics at the Martin Luther

University in Halle . As a child of bourgeois parents I did not qualify for a

higher education under the rules prelevant in the "worker's paradise", but it

happened that in this year Walter Ulbricht, Secretary General of the ``Sozialistische

Einheitspartei Deutschlands = SED'', had declared a drive to economically overtake

capitalist West Germany within the next 10 years. This meant e.g. to increase by about

a factor 4 the number of newly admitted physics students. As there were not enough

applications from high school graduates with proletarian background, I was admitted

for the studies in physics, and so was my elder brother Joachim.


Stalin died in early March 1953. At once the socialist system went into

a delirious state of mourning. Instantly night vigils around the black-draped

portrait of the mustached "genius, greatest statesman, military leader, scientist,

philosopher" etc. were set up. In the morning of the next day we first-year students

were in the overcrowded physics auditorium, waiting for the main lecture on

experimental physics to begin, to be held by Professor W. Messerschmidt. But a

comrade from the communist party leadership appeared to read a message of

condolences to be sent to the  Central Committee of the soviet communist party.

It was to be accepted by acclamation, but all what could be heard was a faint,

bored knocking on the tables. Then, when Professor Messerschmidt entered the

lecture hall, he was greeted by thunderous applause which did not want to

subside. First he appeared startled, then he smiled faintly as he understood

what had triggered the enthusiasm of his students.


In summer of 1953, after the "June 17" uprising of East-German workers, the communist

regime was weakened and restrictions on travel to West Germany were relaxed.

However, a year later, in spring and summer of 1954, it became clear that the

regime was tightening its grip of power and was returning to more repressive measures.

Therefore, in the fall of 1954 I left the German Democratic Republic and enrolled

as a student of physics at Hamburg University .


Leaving the "DDR" was not an easy task. The university administration kept

under lock all my academic records, including the high school diploma. I gambled

on the hypothesis that I could not be accused of subversion and secret

preparation of "Republikflucht" if I told everybody about my plan to move to

Hamburg . I said that in Hamburg I wanted to study General Relativity which was

not represented in Halle . My fellow students thought I was nuts. Everybody knew

that it was virtually impossible to change the place of studies even within the

DDR. And I was talking about going to the ``Klassenfeind'' in the West! So I

went to Professor W. Messerschmidt, who I knew was quite unhappy about the

excessive number of physics students which had been forced upon him and which

exceeded by large the capacity of his laboratory. He wrote a strong letter of

recommendation in support of my application for an exmatriculation. The

university administration was confused when I submitted my application because

such a case had not occurred before. People were fleeing by the hundreds a day,

but not in this way. Within a day I got my exmatricle and my academic records

and then, in a final gesture of triumph, I went to the office of the youth

organization FDJ and resigned from my membership.


My teachers at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle were, among others, O.-H. Keller

and H. Grötzsch in mathematics, and W. Messerschmidt (basic physics course), Hiecke


My teachers at the Universität Hamburg were, among others, H. Braun, L. Collatz, H. Hasse,

E. Sperner in mathematics, and W. Lenz, P. Jordan, H. Raether, H. Lehmann in physics.

I got my state diploma in physics in 1959 and the doctorate in 1962, with Pascual Jordan

as my thesis advisor. The subject of my thesis dealt with the restrictions imposed

on the flow of matter and on the gravitational field by the Einstein field equations.



Positions held.


Syracuse University , Postdoc with Peter Bergmann


Yeshiva University , Postdoc with Peter Bergmann


Hamburg University , Assistant to Pascual Jordan


North Texas State University , Visiting Associate Professor of Physics


Texas A&M University , Associate Professor of Physics


Université d'Oran, Algeria, Professeur de Physique


Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Munich , Scientific Collaborator in the General

Relativity Group


Université de Rennes /France, Professeur Visiteur, groupe G. M. Stephan


ISP Bukavu/Kivu, Zaire, Professeur Ordinaire


ENSSAT Lannion/France, Professeur Visiteur, groupe G. M. Stephan


From 1992 I worked as a representative for TÜV Süd (a major German

certification body for product safety and quality management) in Japan and in

China . I retired in 1999 and moved in 2000 to the city of Uzès in southern

France , where I now live.


Scientific work.


1)  About shear-free and irrotational flows in an Einstein vacuum field of type I (1962).


2)  Reduction of the full Bianchi identities in the presence of a timelike vector field (1964).


     I never published this work, though it was distributed as a preprint to various GR work

    groups in Europe and the US . My equations were first published by S. Hawking

    in Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 145, No.2, 1966.


    I gave seminar talks about this work


    - on 15 Dec. 1964 in Cambridge at the invitiation by Denis Sciama/George Ellis, and

      in the presence of Steven Hawking,


    - on 6 Feb. 1965 at the Institute Henri Poincar\'e in Paris , at the Invitation by 

      M. A. Tonnelat, and in the presence of A. Lichnerowicz,


    - on 8 Feb. 1965 at the Institut de Mathématique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, at the

       invitation by R. Debever and M. Cahen.


3)  I showed how to furnish the Lagrangian configuration space-time of a holonomic system

     with a linear connection so that the trajectory of the system is a geodesic.


4) Construction of the complete tree for the "33 hole central vacancy peg solitaire



5)  My current research is on the Collatz Conjecture.

     "Handles, Hooks, and Scenarios: A fresh Look at the Collatz Conjecture"'



6)  Work on the relation between the Collatz problem and a free semigroup is in progress.