Prof. Em. Dr. Peter Truöl, Professor Emeritus for Elementary Particle Physics, has passed away

We mourn for our colleague, friend and mentor Peter Truöl, who died after a short serious illness on March 22th at the age of 80 years.

Peter Truöl was Professor for Elementary Particle Physics at our institute from 1971 to 2006. Here he initiated the transition of experimental research from medium-energy to high-energy physics. With his research group he participated in experiments at PSI, DESY and CERN and also in Berkeley, Los Alamos, Brookhaven.




After studying physics, mathematics and chemistry in Göttingen and Zurich, Peter Truöl received his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Verena Meyer at the University of Zurich in 1967 with a thesis on the properties of the 10B nucleus. He then continued his scientific research at the University of California, Berkeley, and soon afterwards became assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1971, he returned to the University of Zurich for his habilitation. At the university of Zurich he introduced elementary particle physics to the curriculum of physics. In 1988 Peter Truöl became full professor of experimental physics in Zurich. The research group he led experimented in international research groups at accelerators in Berkeley, Los Alamos, Brookhaven, at PSI in Villigen, at CERN in Geneva and at DESY in Hamburg. In his scientific work, he was equally interested in the experimental aspects, the theoretical understanding and last but not least the linguistic quality of the publications. To convey the latter was a particular concern of his when supervising his doctoral students.


Peter Truöl taught physics students in elementary particle physics for many years and gave the basic lectures for students of medicine and biology countless times. In doing so, he succeeded in conveying to his audience the fascination of researching fundamental physical questions and in making physics a basic subject for future scientists.


Peter Truöl was Director of the Department of Physics of the University of Zurich from 1999 to 2003 and served as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences from 2003 to 2006. After his retirement, he remained closely associated with current research projects in physics and the University of Zurich. From 2007 to 2012, he served on the Board of Science Alumni of the University of Zurich and frequently visited our institute.


In Peter Truöl, the University of Zurich, his colleagues and former students are losing a person and teacher to whom we owe a lot.

Katharina Müller