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December 18, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(12):1100-1101. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130250082020

Adolph Fick, one of the exemplary physiologists in central Europe in the 19th century, was born in Kassel, Germany, the son of a construction engineer.1 After attending the local Gymnasium, in 1847 he began his higher education at the University of Marburg; there his oldest brother, Ludwig, was professor of anatomy and his older brother, Heinrich, who later became professor of Roman law at the University of Zurich, was privatdocent in law. More important than the patronage of either of his brothers, however, was the influence of Carl Ludwig, then privatdocent in anatomy and physiology. Fick showed great interest in mathematics and analytic mechanics and, by the age of 21, had published his first investigation, a study of the dynamics of the muscles of the thigh. A mutual interest in physiological research and great respect for Ludwig's intellectual accomplishments formed a social and academic friendship that persisted for a