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British Industrial History

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Hermann von Helmholtz

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Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894)

1821 August 31st. Born.

He was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science.

In physiology and physiological psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, colour vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism.

In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics.

As a philosopher, he is known for his philosophy of science, ideas on the relation between the laws of perception and the laws of nature, the science of aesthetics, and ideas on the civilizing power of science.

A large German association of research institutions, the Helmholtz Association, is named after him.

He died on 8 September, 1894.

Obituary 1894[1]

" ...His reputation extended to every portion Of the civilised globe. His father was a German, his mother an Englishwoman. He began his adult life as a physician, but at a very early period He turned his attention to the physiological mechanical side. The curing of those who were sick became a secondary matter when compared with the study of natural laws as exemplified in the structure and working of the human body. At the age of twenty-seven, be was appointed to a post in the Anatomical Museum of Berlin. When twenty-eight he was made Professor of Physiology at Konigsburg. In 1856 be held a similar post at Bonn.

In 1859 he went to Heidelberg, and in 1871 be was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Berlin, which post be held until his death...[More].

1895 Obituary [2]

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