Gustav Kirchhoff

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Gustav Kirchoff
Gustav Kirchhoff
Born (1824-03-12)12 March 1824
Königsberg, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 17 October 1887(1887-10-17) (aged 63)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia
Residence china/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 5 wives 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. He also discovered rubidium with Bunsen in 1861.

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).