Hannes Keller

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Hannes Keller

Hannes Keller (born 20 September 1934 in Winterthur, Switzerland) is a Swiss physicist, mathematician, deep diving pioneer, and entrepreneur. In 1962, he reached a depth of 1,000 feet (300 m) in open ocean.[1][2][3] In the 1970s through the 1980s, Keller made himself a name as an entrepreneur in the IT industry.[4] Keller is also an amateur classical pianist who produced two CDs and occasionally performed for audiences of up to 2000 people.[4][5][6]

Deep diving[edit]

Keller donning diving dress at the United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit[7]

Keller studied philosophy, mathematics, and theoretical physics at the University of Zurich. He became interested in deep diving and developed tables for mixed-gas decompression, supported by Albert A. Bühlmann who suggested suitable gases.[1][4] Keller successfully tested his idea in Lake Zurich, where he reached a depth of 400 feet (120 m), and Lake Maggiore, where he reached a depth of 728 feet (222 m).[8] On Dec. 3, 1962,[9] he set a new world record when he reached a depth of 1,000 feet (300 m) off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, California, together with Peter Small.[7][10] This major achievement was overshadowed by the tragic end of the mission: Keller was lucky to survive while Peter Small and Chris Whittaker, a young UCLA student and supporting diver, lost their lives.[11]

In the following years, navies and hospitals bought decompression chambers constructed by Keller.

Career after diving[edit]

In the 1970s, Keller sold his own line of computers and in the 1980s became a leading vendor of IBM PCs in Switzerland.[4] He developed a series of software products (Witchpen, Ways for Windows, and Wizardmaker) which provided automatic spell checking, literal machine translation, and macro recording.

He now runs Visipix the largest Fine Art and Photo Museum online with 1.3 million exhibits, all with Free Copyrights for any use.[4]

Since 2005, Keller has been a full-time artist.[4]

In 2009, Keller joined the advisory board for the United States Historical Diving Society.[12]


  1. ^ a b Wendling, J; Nussberger, P; Schenk, B (1999). "Milestones of the deep diving research laboratory Zurich.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 29 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  2. ^ Eaton, Bernard (2002) The Atlantis affair, Diver magazine, December 2002
  3. ^ Tillman, Thomas (1999) The Keller Dive
  4. ^ a b c d e f hanneskeller.com. "Hannes Keller Biography". hanneskeller.com. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  5. ^ hanneskeller.com. "Hannes Keller In Concert". hanneskeller.com. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  6. ^ Community Arts Music Association (1993). "December 5, 1993; American Youth Symphony; Zubin Mehta, Conductor; Theo Lieven & Hannes Keller, Pianos at the Arlington Theatre". Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  7. ^ a b Swann, C (2007). "Hannes Keller and His Secret Mixtures". The History of Oil Field Diving (Oceanaut Press). Chapter 8: 105–113. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  8. ^ "Deepest dive ever made, Hannes Keller Ken MacLeish in Lake Maggiore to 728 feet.". Life magazine: 66. 1961-08-04. 
  9. ^ Bret Gilliam; Robert Von Maier; Darren Webb (1995). Deep Diving: An Advanced Guide To Physiology, Procedures And Systems. Aqua Quest Publications. pp. 60ff. ISBN 0922769311. 
  10. ^ Keller, H (2004). "Towards the Limits of the Continental Shelf". Historical Diver Magazine (The Historical Diving Society USA, Inc.) 12 (3). Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  11. ^ Eaton, B (2003). "The Atlantis affair". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal reprinted from Diver, December 2002: 85–87 33 (4). Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  12. ^ "HDSUSA Welcomes Hannes Keller to the advisory board". The Journal of Diving History (Historical Diving Society USA, Inc.) 17 (58): 4. 2009. 

Additional reading[edit]