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ZNA: A Modern Journal with Tradition

A Journal of Physical Sciences

Zeitschrift für Naturforschung A (ZNA)

A Modern Journal with Tradition

The Zeitschrift für Naturforschung A - a Journal of Physical Sciences (ZNA) is an international scientific journal which publishes original research papers from all areas of experimental and theoretical physics. The journal looks back on a tradition of excellence since the appearance of its first issue in early 1946.

Zeitschrift für Naturforschung
The journal cover: 1947…
Physical Sciences Impact Factor 2016
…and 2018

Here’s a brief overview of some milestones in its history:


The “Zeitschrift für Naturforschung” – the Journal for Research in Natural Sciences – is launched, with Arnold Sommerfeld as a member of the board of trustees, providing the first means of professional communication for Natural Scientists in postwar Germany.

AS OF 1947:

In its early days, the journal enjoys frequent contributions from outstanding scientists, among others from Fritz Bopp, Adolf Butenandt, Siegfried Flügge, Pascual Jordan, Heinz Ewald, Walther Bothe, Otto Hahn and Werner Heisenberg, who joins the board of trustees.

The range of content submitted by various researchers from Natural Sciences is overflowing. Consequently, the editorial board decides to divide the journal into two parts:

  • Part A, comprising Astrophysics, Physics and Physical Chemistry
  • Part B, dedicated to Chemistry


Co-founder Alfred Klemm becomes the person responsible for the content until 2007.

The journal faces a fast rise, collecting the works of eminent minds such as Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Gerhart Lüders, Fritz Sauter, Oskar Klein, to name but a few. In fact, the list of its authors reads like a who-is-who in modern physics in the 50s and 60s. Yet, the journal’s impact at that time is hindered, since the main publication language is still German.

Alfred Klemm (sitting left) with his colleagues. Sitting right to him is Otto Hahn, in whose Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Tailfingen (located half-way between Stuttgart and the lake Bodensee) Klemm was working as a young physical chemist.


A part covering research in Biology (part C) is added.


The final shift towards internationalization and digitization takes place in the eighties, with Siegfried Großmann joining the Editorial board. The journal is modernized, now allowing for submissions via electronic media.

Siegfried Großmann lecturing on statistical physics.This photograph was taken in the mid-nineties during one of his weakly group seminars.

1985 – EARLY 2000s

The English-language journal ZNA turns more and more international, attracting submissions from all branches of physics.


Siegfried Großmann becomes Editor-in-Chief.


The ZNA witnesses a new landmark event: The journal is taken over by De Gruyter. From then on, ZNA is fully web-based, offering an online manuscript management system and a convenient search in the journal’s archive. The access to valuable content from the field of Physical science is as easy as never before.