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Person: Weber (3), Heinrich Friedrich
Heinrich Friedrich Weber was a German physicist who was important in the history of the Zürich Polytechnic. His most famous student was Einstein.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After completing his school education at the Gymnasium in Weimar, Weber moved to Jena in order to study physics, mathematics and philosophy at the university there.
- In 1865 Weber received his doctorate for a thesis entitled Neue Probleme der Diffraktionstheorie des Lichtes Ⓣ(New problems of diffraction theory of light) , supervised by Abbe.
- In 1870 Weber moved to Karlsruhe, where he worked as assistant to Gustav Wiedemann (1826-1899) at the Polytechnic School.
- At the Polytechnic Weber mainly lectured on technical physics.
- His most famous student, however, was Einstein, who often worked in Weber's laboratories.
- Therefore, Einstein often skived his lectures, on which Weber commented: "You are a clever boy, Einstein, a very clever boy indeed.
- The latter was a good friend of Weber's.
- Among Weber's publications, Die spezifische Wärme der Elemente Kohlenstoff, Bor und Silizium Ⓣ(The specific heat of the elements carbon, boron and silicon) (1874), Der absolute Wert der Siemensschen Quecksilbereinheit Ⓣ(The absolute value of Siemens's Mercury unit) (1884), and Die Entwicklung der Lichtemission glühender fester Körper Ⓣ(The development of light-emitting glowing solid bodies) (1887) are of particular importance.
- Weber was also interested in meteorology.
- However, Weber's most important achievement was the physics institute at the Polytechnic, which opened in 1890.
- For several years Weber tried to get the Swiss government's permission to build at least an extension of the existing institute, though he really wanted laboratories that could cater for any future developments in (electrical) engineering.
- Weber's ideas turned out to be highly successful: for a number of years the institute was the finest of its kind in the world and thus added to the Polytechnic's growing reputation.
- Weber joined the organising committee of the first International Congress of Mathematicians at the preliminary meeting in July 1896.
Born 7 November 1843, Magdala, Thuringia, Germany. Died 24 May 1912, Zürich, Switzerland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive