1820 – 1895
Who was Hermann Knoblauch?
Karl Hermann Knoblauch was a German physicist. He is most notable for his studies of radiant heat. He was one of the six founding members of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft at Berlin on 14 January 1845.
Knoblauch's father was a well-to-do silk fabrics manufacturer in Berlin. Despite pressure from his father to enter the family business, Knoblauch in his early 20s opted to study mathematics and science at the University of Berlin. There he became one of the star students in the laboratory of Gustav Magnus. Knoblauch's doctorate, completed in Berlin in 1847, described valuable experiments that established some of the optical properties of radiant heat. In an article describing these experiments Knoblauch wrote that experimental facts are "the only permanent things in science", while abstract models are "transitory" and should be treated with caution and kept separate from the facts, a view that Magnus maintained also.
As a researcher and teacher at the University of Marburg, 1849–53, he produced valuable experimental demonstrations about the nature of diamagnetism. Knoblauch's student and collaborator on the diamagnetism work was John Tyndall.
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