Gustav Kirchhoff nsIn thermodynamics, Gustav Kirchhoff (1824-1887) (IQ:175|#250) (Murray 4000:11|P) (CR:34) was a German physicist noted for doing the research on the determination of the energy of bodies, which later functioned in support of German physicist Rudolf Clausius’ 1875 chapter on the determination of the energy and entropy of bodies, wherein he cites how Kirchhoff called his U function of the energy (or internal energy) of the body by the name “function of activity” (wirkungsfunction). [1]

In 1871, a newly minted undergraduate Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in physics for his low-temperature thermodynamics work, went to Heidelberg where he studied under German chemist Robert Bunsen and Kirchhoff from October 1871 until April 1873.

German physicist Felix Auerbach, author of the 1910 book Ectropy and the Physical Theory of Life, which introduced the notion of "ectropy" as a type of biological anti-entropy, studied under Kirchhoff at the University of Breslau, in Heidelberg.

German mathematical physicist Carl Neumann’s 1875 Lectures on the Mechanical Theory of Heat, which introduced the now-common notation, đ (d-hat), for the inexact differential, used methods on heat similar to Kirchhoff. [2]

In 1877, German physicist Max Planck, winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize in physics for his quantum theory work, studied under Kirchhoff in Berlin for one year. Planck's 1900 reformulation of Kirchhoff's equations on black body radiation started the quantum revolution.

1. Clausius, Rudolf. (1879). The Mechanical Theory of Heat ("function of activity", pgs. 31-32; chapter IX: "Determination of Energy and Entropy", pg. 195-211). London: Macmillan & Co. (second edition).
2. Maxwell, James C., Elizabeth Garber, Stephen G. Brush, C. W. Francis Everitt. (1995). Maxwell on Heat and Statistical Mechanics: On "Avoiding All Personal Inquiries of Molecules" (pgs. 255, 257). Lehigh University Press.

Further reading
● Ampere, A., Neumann F., Weber W., and Kirchhoff, G. (1873). Elektrischen Krafte Darlegung und Erweiterung der von A. Ampere, F. Neumann, W. Weber, G. Kirchhoff, Entwickelten Mathematischen Theorieen (Explanation of Electrical Forces and Expansion on the Mathematical Theories of A. Ampere, F. Neumann, W. Weber, and G. Kirchhoff). Leipzig.

External links
Gustav Kirchhoff – Wikipedia.

TDics icon ns