Friedrich Robert Helmert

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Helmert, Friedrich Robert


Born July 31, 1843, in Freiberg; died June 15, 1917, in Potsdam. German geodesist and geophysicist. Became a professor at Berlin University in 1887 and director of the Geodetic Institute in Berlin (later in Potsdam) in 1886; he also directed the Central International Bureau of Degree Measurements.

Helmert studied the acceleration of the force of gravity in the mountains. He determined the dimensions of the earth, worked out a formula for the normal distribution of gravitational forces on the surface of the earth’s ellipsoid, wrote a handbook of equivalent calculations, and was the author of the two-volume manual Mathematical and Physical Theory in Higher Geodesy (1880-84) and many other works on geodesy and geophysics.