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# Gustav Robert Kirchhoff - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff. A Brief Digest of His Life and Work by Mike Rasmussen. Vital Statistics. Born: 12 March 1824, Königsberg, Prussia Christened: 11 April 1824 Father: Friedrich Kirchhoff (lawyer) Mother: Johanna Henriette Wittke

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### Gustav Robert Kirchhoff

A Brief Digest of His Life and Work

by Mike Rasmussen

• Born: 12 March 1824, Königsberg, Prussia

• Christened: 11 April 1824

• Father: Friedrich Kirchhoff (lawyer)

• Mother: Johanna Henriette Wittke

• Married: 1847, to Clara Richelot (his math professor’s daughter – good reason to study math!)

• Died: 17 October 1887, Berlin

• Temple work: Done several times, 1929-2001. (Often just sealed to Mr. and Mrs. Kirchhoff – good reason to study physics!)

• Kirchhoff’s Law (Thermodynamics)

• Kirchhoff’s Circuit Laws

• Spectroscopy (with Bunsen)

• Fresnel-Kirchhoff diffraction formula.

• At thermal equilibrium, light emitted equals light absorbed.

• (Otherwise it wouldn’t be at equilibrium.)

• So, black bodies are great emitters.

• And “Space Blankets” are good at not emitting.

• The Sum of voltage rises and drops around a loop equals zero.

• (Energy is conserved.)

• Currents entering a junction are equal to currents leaving a junction.

• (Charge is conserved, similar to thermodynamic law. Remember, a lot of people thought charge was like heat, and might accumulate at a junction.)

• So, we can do circuit analysis.

• Obvious, but useful – maybe we can all get laws named after us someday!

“Two old telescopes, a prism, and a cigar box”

• Burned highly purified sodium, observed two strong yellow lines

• Lit a Drummond light, which is a stick of lime heated by a flame to white hot – it radiates nearly as a black body, with no dark lines

• Lit a sodium flame in between the “limelight” and the spectroscope, and observed two dark lines – the sodium absorbed more energy than it emitted

• Identified Fraunhofer’s yellow lines in several lamp spectra as sodium emission

• Identified Fraunhofer’s dark lines in the solar spectrum as absorption

• Identified the chemical content of the sun

• Identified Cesium and Rubidium

• Fresnel derived a formula for diffraction by applying Newton’s calculus to Huygen’s wavelets.

• In 1887, Kirchhoff used Maxwell’s Equations to justify Fresnel’s formula.

• Hence, it was named after both Fresnel and Kirchhoff.

• Apparently, it killed him, as he died that year.

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Kirchhoff

• www.familysearch.org

• http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/webdocs/Chem-History/Kirchhoff-Bunsen-1860.html

• http://www.neatherd.org/astronomy/Fingerprints%20of%20light.htm

• http://optics.byu.edu/Textbook.htm