Felix Bloch, 77, a co-winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize for physics for his studies of atomic nuclei through the technique of nuclear magnetic resonance, died Sept. 10 in his home in Zurich after a heart attack.
His co-winner for the Nobel Prize was Edward Mills Purcell, a Harvard University scientist. The two men were friends but had never worked together.
Mr. Bloch was a professor emeritus of physics at Stanford University, where he had taught from 1934 to 1971. He made fundamental contributions to the electron theory of metals.
His work in nuclear resonance resulted in a simple but extremely sensitive method for probing atomic nuclei with radio waves. Techniques based on this work were used for years to study the behavior of large molecules and recently has emerged as a diagnostic tool in medicine.
In addition to this, he became known for work resulting in the Bloch-Floquet theorem, which specifies the form of wave functions for electrons in crystal and is used in the theoretical investigations of the structures of metals.
The Bloch-Gruneisen relationship describes the conductivity of metals as a function of temperature. The Bloch T 3/2 law describes the dependence upon temperature of magnetization in ferromagnetic material. The Bloch wall became the term to describe the transition region between two parts of crystal magnetized in different directions.
Mr. Bloch was born in Zurich. He attended the Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland and in 1928 received a doctorate in physics from the University of Leipzig in Germany.
The next several years saw him teach and pursue research at various European institutions. He was an assistant to Prof. Werner Heisenberg, the father of quantum mechanics, at Leipzig and later to the famed physicists Niels Bohr, in Denmark, and Enrico Fermi, in Italy.
He left Europe in 1934 after the Nazis rose to power in Germany. For the next several years, he taught by day at Stanford, then drove 40 miles to the University of California at Berkeley each night to do research on that university's cyclotron, then the only one in this country. There he worked closly with Dr. Ernest Lawrence.
During World War II, he worked first at the laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., where the Manhattan project was developing the atomic bomb. In 1944, he was named associate group leader in research dealing with radar at the Harvard University Radio Research Laboratory.
While attending a 1939 scientific meeting, he met his wife, Lore Bloch. She had received a doctorate in physics from the University of Goettingen in Germany and worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They were married in 1940.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter and three sons.