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Memorial Tributes: Volume 7
WRITTEN BY ALFRED E. KLUWICK SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
KLAUS OSWATITSCH died on August 1, 1993. With his death the mechanics community loses one of its most prominent members who has, over the past decades, significantly influenced the development of fluid mechanics in many different areas.
Klaus Oswatitsch was born on March 10, 1910, in Marburg an de Drau, then a city of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. He studied mathematics and physics in Graz with, among others, Erwin Schrödinger. Owing to the bad economic situation, he was unable to find a suitable position when he had finished his Ph.D. study. In this difficult situation the twenty-eight-year-old Dr. Oswatitsch especially welcomed a scholarship by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft that enabled him to do research at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute in Göttingen headed by the founder of modern fluid mechanics, Ludwig Prandtl.
As we now know, Oswatitsch's decision to move to Göttingen proved to be a stroke of luck. Even his first scientific investigations showed his exceptional originality. His publications on the dispersion and absorption of sound in clouds, on condensation phenomena in supersonic nozzles, and on drag as the integral of the entropy flow are considered classic papers in the field of fluid mechanics.
Three ''wanderjahre" (as he himself termed them) after the war led Oswatitsch to Farnborough, to Emmendingen, and