[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
December 1994

Hermann von Helmholtz: A Century Later

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(12):1524-1525. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090240030021

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.

Abstract

HERMANN VON Helmholtz, one of the greatest scientists in history, died September 8, 1894. A physiologist and physicist, he made fundamental contributions in nerve and muscle physiology, physiological acoustics, the electromagnetic theory, chemical thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, electrodynamics, and physiological optics. He worked with non-Euclidean geometry and studied the philosophical foundations of science and the relationships of science with art, culture, and clinical medicine. His public lectures, frequently with demonstrations, brought scientific research and thought to the public. Late in his career, he encouraged relationships between academic scientists and industry and between scientists and governments.

Helmholtz was born in Potsdam, Germany, in 1821. His mother was a descendent of William Penn and his father was a teacher of philosophy and literature at the Potsdam Gymnasium. At the gymnasium, Helmholtz was strong in mathematics, physics, and especially optics. Although he desired to be a physicist, family financial problems precluded this wish, and he

References
1.
Shastid TH. Helmholtz,  Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von . In: Wood CA, ed. The American Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Ophthalmology . Chicago, III: Cleveland Press; 1916;8:5744.
2.
Gorin G. History of Ophthalmology . Wilmington, Del: Publish or Perish Inc; 1982:125.
3.
Cahan D.  Helmholtz at the borders of science . In: Cahan D, ed. Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Science . Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press; 1993.
×