University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Home > About > News > News >

General News

Dehnhard dies at 82

Dieter Dehnhard
Dieter Dehnhard
Russll Hobbie

Emeritus Professor Karl Dietrich "Dieter" Dehnhard died May 20, after suffering a heart attack the previous week.

Dehnhard received his PhD. at the University of Marburg in Germany in 1964. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1966 where he worked until his retirement in 2001. Dehnhard’s research specialty was experimental nuclear physics. He initially performed studies of nuclear structure using light ion probes at the Minnesota Tandem Laboratory. Dehnhard turned his attention to the use of heavier projectiles and extensively studied nuclear reactions and excitations using ions as a probe. This work brought him international recognition and started a series of collaborations with Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg Germany. Dehnhard then established a new research group funded by the Department of Energy to extensively study nuclear structures at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility. Later he studied hypernuclear physics, using kaon and electron probes at the Brookhaven alternating gradient synchrotron, the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

After retiring from a career in nuclear physics research and teaching at U of MN, Dieter focused on music - playing flute, practicing with friends and hosting and attending house concerts. Dehnhard was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Hilde.

Dehnhard is survived by his brother Hans; daughters Bettina Dehnhard (Dean), Susanne Carpenter (Bryan) and Karoline Dehnhard (Larry); and granddaughters Nicola Carpenter and Helen Trisko. There will be a memorial service to honor his life on Thursday, June 9, 2 PM at Unity Church-Unitarian, 733 Portland Ave, St. Paul, 55104.

More information at