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Gustav Robert Kirchhoff
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Birth: Mar. 12, 1824
Death: Oct. 17, 1887
Berlin, Germany

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff: German Physicist.

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born in Königsberg, East Prussia; the son of attorney, Friedrich Kirchhoff and Johanna Henriette Wittke. He graduated from the Albertus University of Königsberg in 1847 and, thereafter, married Clara Richelot, the daughter of his mathematics professor, Friedrich Julius Richelot. In the same year, they moved to Berlin, where he stayed until he received a professorship at Breslau.

With Clara, Professor Kirchhoff had two sons and two daughters. He was left to bring them up on his own in 1869, when Clara died. This task was made harder by a disability which caused him to spend much of his life on crutches or in a wheelchair. He married Luise Brömmel in Heidelberg in 1872. He had been made offers to teach and conduct research by many universities but he was happy in Heidelberg and turned down such offers. However, as his health began to fail, he realised that the experimental side of the subject, one which he greatly enjoyed, was becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore, in 1875 when he was offered the chair of mathematical physics at Berlin, he accepted; as it allowed him to continue to make a strong contribution to teaching and theoretical research without the problems that his poor health was giving him.

Professor Kirchhoff contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. He coined the term "black body" radiation in 1862, and two sets of independent concepts in both circuit theory and thermal emission are named after him; "Kirchhoff's Laws". His circuit laws, are now ubiquitous in electrical engineering. In 1862 he was awarded the Rumford Medal for his researches on the fixed lines of the solar spectrum, and on the inversion of the bright lines in the spectra of artificial light. He contributed greatly to the field of spectroscopy by formalizing three laws that describe the spectral composition of light emitted by incandescent objects, building substantially on the discoveries of David Alter and Anders Jonas Angstrom.

Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Member in the Society of Lunar Features.

Doctor Kirchhoff is buried in the St Matthäus Kirchhof Cemetery in Schöneberg, Berlin, only a few meters from the graves of the Brothers Grimm.

Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof
Berlin, Germany
Created by: Row Walker
Record added: Jun 15, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19896895
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff
Added by: Row Walker
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff
Added by: Row Walker
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lutetia
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- vlang
 Added: Aug. 15, 2007
An honor to leave this tribute and say a prayer this day.
- Row Walker
 Added: Jun. 15, 2007

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