Drude, Paul

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Drude, Paul


Born July 12, 1863, in Braunschweig; died July 5, 1906, in Berlin. German physicist.

Drude graduated from the University of Gottingen in 1882. He was a professor at the University of Leipzig (from 1894), the University of Giessen (from 1900), and at the University of Berlin (from 1905). Beginning in 1900 he was editor of the journal Annalen der Physik. His main works were on the applications of classical electron theory: he provided a theory of the electron conductivity of metals, a theory of the polarization of light reflected from a metallic surface, and a theory of the dispersion of light. He was the first to discover and explain the anomalous dispersion of the dielectric constant (later this explanation was superseded by a theory by P. Debye). Drude proposed methods for measuring the dielectric constant and the absorption indexes of fluid dielectrics in the meter and decimeter regions of electromagnetic waves. He was a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences.


Physik des Aethers auf elektromagnetischer Grundlage, 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1912.
Die Theorie in der Physik. Leipzig, 1895.
In Russian translation:
Optika. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.


Planck, M. “Paul Drude (Gedachtnisrede).” Verhandlungen der Deutschen physikalischen Gesellschaft, 1906, no. 23, pp. 599-630.