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[12] 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.[13]


  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" (PDF). 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. ^ visipix.com
  13. ^ "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]