Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert
- Paul Charbonneau
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BornKönigsberg (Kaliningrad, Russia), 12 March 1824
DiedBerlin, Germany, 17 October 1887
Gustav Kirchhoff founded spectral analysis (with Robert Bunsen) and discovered fundamental properties of the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation. His father, a government law councillor, was devoted to the Prussian state and encouraged his sons to similarly serve the state to the best of their abilities. Kirchhoff enrolled at the University of Königsberg, where he studied mathematical physics under Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi (1804–1851) and Franz Ernst Neumann (1798–1895). After graduation in 1847 and a short scientific visit to Paris, he held an unsalaried lectureship in Berlin. In 1850, Kirchhoff was appointed extraordinary professor of physics at Breslau, where the arrival of Bunsen the following year inaugurated an immensely fruitful collaboration that would revolutionize astronomy ...
- Boltzmann, L. (1905). “Gustav Robert Kirchhoff.” Populäre Schriften 51–75. (Includes interesting personal reminiscences on Kirchhoff.)
- Hentschel, Klaus (2002). Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Respresentation in Research and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert (1876–1894). Vorlesungen über mathematische Physik. 4 Vols. Leipzig: B.G. Teubner.
- — (1882). Gesammelte Abhandlungen. Leipzig: J. A. Barth. (The editing of Kirchhoff’s papers and essays was completed by Ludwig Boltzmann, with editions published between 1882 and 1891.)
- McGucken, W. (1969). Nineteenth-Century Spectroscopy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, Chap. 1. (For a good, in-context discussion of Kirchhoff’s work in spectral analysis.)
- Meadows, A. J. (1970). Early Solar Physics. Oxford: Pergamon Press, Chap. 2. (Includes English translations of two important papers by Kirchhoff on spectrum analysis and the theory of heat.)
- Rosenfeld, L. (1973). “Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 7, pp. 379–383. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
- Schuster, A. (1932). Biographical Fragments. London: MacMillan and Co., pp. 216–220.
- Siegel, Daniel M. (1976). “Balfour Stewart and Gustav Kirchhoff: Two Independent Approaches to ‘Kirchhoff’s Radiation Law.’” Isis 67: 565–600.
- Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert
- Reference Work Title
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers
- pp 1220-1221
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media New York
- Additional Links
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa
- 2. University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences
- 3. Rice University
- 4. Whitman College
- 5. York Univesity
- 6. University of Wisconsin
- 7. University of Oklahoma
- 8. Harvard University
- Paul Charbonneau (1148)
- Author Affiliations
- 1148. University of Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
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