Klaus von Klitzing is a German physicist, renowned for the discovery of the integer quantum Hall effect, for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics.

He started his career in Braunschweig and received his PhD from the university of Würzburg, where he qualified as a professor as well. Further, he conducted research at the Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford and the Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory in France (now LNCMI) until the Technical University of Munich offered him a professorship in 1980 – only five years after which he already has been able to win the Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of the Quantum Hall Effect. Since 1985 he has been the director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.

The von Klitzing constant, R_{K} = h/e^{2} = 25812.807557(18) Ω , is named in his honour and listed in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty. The inverse of the constant is equal to half that of the conductance quantum value. Interestingly enough, exactly this fundamental quantum mechanism will be used in the re-definition of our international system of units as one fundamental high precision measurement.

More recently, Klitzing’s research focuses on the properties of low-dimensional electronic systems, typically at low temperatures and high magnetic fields.