Gustav Kirchhoff

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Gustav Kirchhoff

Gustav Kirchhoff
Born 12 March 1824(1824-03-12)
Königsberg, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 17 October 1887(1887-10-17) (aged 63)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia
Residence Prussia/German Empire
Nationality Prussian
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Berlin
University of Breslau
University of Heidelberg
Alma mater University of Königsberg
Doctoral advisor Franz Ernst Neumann
Known for Kirchhoff's circuit laws
Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation
Kirchhoff's laws of spectroscopy
Kirchhoff's law of thermochemistry
Notable awards Rumford medal

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (12 March 1824 – 17 October 1887) was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and radiation by heated objects. He coined the term black body radiation in 1862.[1]

He proposed two sets of independent concepts in both circuit theory and thermal emission. They are all called 'Kirchhoff's laws' after him, as well as a law of thermochemistry. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after him and his colleague, Robert Bunsen.

References[change | change source]

  1. A 'black body' is an idealised physical body which absorbs all electromagnetic radiation which strikes it, and reflects none. It is also the best possible emitter of thermal radiation (heat).