1857 – Julius Plücker, Heinrich Geißler und der Beginn systematischer Gasentladungsforschung in Deutschland

  • Günter DörfelEmail author
  • Falk Müller
Research Paper


Low pressure gas discharges are quite complex processes that are hardly to be explained by simplified model descriptions. Therefore and because of the technological difficulties involved in their investigation, gas discharges remained a rather exotic topic until the later decades of the 19th century. The beginning of a systematic and soon also an extensive exploration is closely related to the activities of the mathematician und physicist Julius Plücker and the glassblower Heinrich Geißler and their engagement in Bonn. During the 2nd half of the 19th century, at first the attraction of the discharge phenomena observed and, four decades later, a spectacular discovery – that of the X-radiation, have established in the view of an interested community the results of gas discharge exploration as a predecessor for a change in physical ideology and technical realization. It is the intent of the present paper to illuminate the interactions which dominated the establishment of this new field of research in Bonn and the details of the events and processes of that time, in particular to expose that part played by the glassblower in this field.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Festkörper- und Werkstoffforschung DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Historisches Seminar Arbeitsgruppe WissenschaftsgeschichteJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt am MainGermany

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