Weber, Wilhelm Eduard


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Weber, Wilhelm Eduard

(vĭl`hĕlm ā`do͞oärt vā`bər), 1804–91, German physicist. He was professor (1831–37, 1849–91) at the Univ. of Göttingen, where he worked with C. F. GaussGauss, Carl Friedrich
, born Johann Friederich Carl Gauss, 1777–1855, German mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. Gauss was educated at the Caroline College, Brunswick, and the Univ.
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 on terrestrial magnetism and devised an electromagnetic telegraph. He introduced the absolute system of electrical units. The coulomb was once known as the weber; now the weber is a magnetic unit. With a brother, E. H. WeberWeber, Ernst Heinrich
, 1795–1878, German physiologist. He was a professor at the Univ. of Leipzig (1821–71) and is known for his work on touch and for the formulation of Weber's law—that the increase in stimulus necessary to produce an increase in sensation is
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, he wrote (1825) a book on wave motion; with another brother, E. F. Weber, he made a study of walking.

Weber, Wilhelm Eduard

 

Born Oct. 24, 1804, in Wittenberg; died June 23, 1891, in Göttingen. German physicist. Graduated from the university at Halle in 1826. From 1827 he taught there (from 1828 as a professor). From 1831 to 1837 he was a professor at the University of Göttingen, from 1843 to 1849 professor at the University of Leipzig, and from 1849 again a professor at the University of Göttingen.

Weber’s main scientific work was in the area of the physics of electrical and magnetic phenomena. He developed an absolute system of electrical and magnetic units. He theoretically deduced the law of interaction of moving charges, first introducing the dependence not only upon the size and sign of the charge but also on the relative speed of its displacements. However, the theory on which he relied allowed the existence of a force that acts instantaneously over a distance and ignored the role of the medium in the transmission of the interaction. Weber was one of the authors of a hypothesis about the discreteness of electrical charge and the electrical structure of matter. In 1856, along with F. Kohlrausch, Weber defined the ratio of the charge of a capacitor in electrostatic and magnetic units and was the first to discover that it is numerically equal to the speed of light. Together with K. F. Gauss, Weber took part in the development of methods and apparatus for geometric measurements ; he also built the first telegraph in Germany (1833).

WORKS

Werke, vols. 1-6. Berlin, 1892-94.
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