About Wilhelm Stepp's dissertation of 1946



Page initiated 30 January 2024

Current status: 1 February 2024


 This contribution has coming into being due to Mike Dean's engagements.


He thought first to translate it as it incorporates rarely known aspects in the field of

the German Mathematical approach of what is now commonly known as


In the Anglo-Saxon world, like was in all other highly developed countries: -

everything that might have pointed at the: - principles of reflection of electro-magnetic waves at metallic bodies -

was strictly to be kept out of the public domains.

Thus, similarly occurred in Germany.

Therefore, the German "Funkmess" community had to find a way around - to describe what later became known as the "Radar Formula".


In this "vacuum era" they discovered during their research: - that the reflecting properties could be substituted (expressed) with a particular number of theoretical dipole equivalents (Dipol Zahl).

Thus, every metallic object represents a particular number of reflecting dipoles in various direction, of course, as long as the body has a metallic covered sphere skin; non fully spherical bodies, possesses at every instance of the metallic skin a different Dipole Equivalence.

Well known are the properties of Al strips also known as: Windows or Chaff; the German wartime code-name was Düppel.

In my perception: quite interesting are the examples in which Wilhelm Stepp lifts historical background information briefly - as to why some historical decisions had been made based on incorrect assessments, or the interpretations based upon incorrect measurement.

Whether, due to simply finding an argument for not continuing certain research directions, or to continue techniques which actually weren't up-to-date any longer. 


However, the question arose whether to translate Stepp's dissertation into the 'Lingua Franca', which in the Western World certainly is the English Language.

After careful digesting Stepp's dissertation, I listened to my own perception:

Not translating it, as, in my opinion: it is too much focused upon mathematical solutions which nowadays being so much differently expressed, that its curiosity is not making sense.

Our Website is, nevertheless, a good platform for accessing Wilhelm Stepp's 1946 dissertation, in its genuine fashion.

In the days Stepp arrived in Darmstadt - he must have had American support. This quite hidden aspect becomes clear at the last two brief paragraphs of Stepp's typed dissertation. At the far end 



Wilhelm Stepp's Dissertation of 1946



Am 4. Oktober 1946 siedelte ich mit meiner Familie von Berlin nach Freiburg i. Breisgau über, wo ich zur Zeit privat arbeite.

At the far end we find a brief note on himself and his family: Herrn Direktor Schwab von der Telefunken G.m.b.H. danke ich auch an dieser Stelle dafür, dass er mir unmittelbar nach Kriegsende unter den schwierigsten Bedingungen die Niederschrift dieser Arbeit ermöglichte.


AOB: please be aware, that German citizen were not allowed to settle at their own choice!

Moving from Berlin to Darmstadt was only possible by means of US support and according cooperation.

Curious is:  Freiburg im Breisgau; because this was situated in the French Occupied Zone of Germany. And, they weren't often cooperative.

I found out why matters might have went this way.

In the Telephone-book of Berlin 1941 we find:


Front cover of 1941 telephone book of Berlin


On page 1306 we find: Stepp Wilhelm Dipl.-Ing. Markgrafenstrasse 5

A search on GoogleEarth provided: Stepp's pied a terre



Stepp's pied a terre was situated in the Russian Occupied zone of Berlin

(this very fact might have implicated the delicacy of US support).

Not too far from the Brandenburger Tor (in the north).

Supposing:-  that he lived in some way or another, in this pied a terre

Most of the Germans with scientific skills captured by the Russians in Berlin, were deported to Russia, where they were "Zwangsverpflichtet".

They had to use their skills in Russian scientific programs; some even in the field of atomic research.

Like was Steimel of Telefunken, and quite many others.

But Stepp escaped from this; whether by a matter of good luck - or deliberately initiated by the Americans, I cannot judge.

  In those post war days - dissertations in Darmstadt were supervised by US officials, and when they didn't agree, albeit because of:  the content of a single sentence only, they rejected the further procedure!


By Arthur O. Bauer