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Born Sept. 3, 1829, in Kassel; died Aug. 21, 1901, in Blankenberge, Belgium. German physiologist.
Fick was a professor at the University of Zürich (from 1855) and the University of Würzburg (1868–99). His principal studies were on the thermodynamics of muscle. Fick disproved J. von Liebig’s view that proteins were the only source of energy for muscle activity. He proved the validity of the law of conservation of energy in muscle contraction, developed a method for studying the elastic properties of muscles, and perfected myothermic and myographic apparatus. Fick was also the author of works on the comparative physiology of stimulated tissues, the dioptrics of the eye, color perception, and the physiology of blood circulation. He formulated the principle that is the basis for the methods used to study cardiac output (Fick principle).