Max Rubner

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rubner, Max


Born June 2, 1854, in Munich; died Apr. 27, 1932, in Berlin. German physiologist and hygienist.

In 1878, Rubner graduated from the University of Leipzig. He was a student of K. Ludwig and K. Voit. From 1885 to 1891 he was a professor of hygiene in Marburg. In 1891 he succeeded R. Koch as director of the Institute of Hygiene in Berlin and professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin.

Rubner completed the research started by A. Lavoisier and P. Laplace on the chemical treatment of animal respiratory processes. By means of experimentation he derived the quantitative indexes of animal metabolic processes. He formulated the law of the isodynamism of food substances, for which, however, he only took into account an energy evaluation and disregarded the qualitative characteristics of the nutritive products. Rubner studied the formation and emission of heat in the human body. Using physiological research methods, he scientifically substantiated the hygienic significance of clothing. Rubner was editor of Archiv für Hygiene from 1892 to 1912, Hygienische Rundschau from 1892 to 1921, and Archiv für Physiologie from 1910 to 1919.


Die Gesetze des Energieverbrauchs bei der Ernährung. Leipzig-Vienna, 1902.
Das Problem der Lebensdauer und seine Beziehungen zu Wachstum und Ernährung. Munich-Berlin, 1908.
In Russian translation:
Uchebnik gigieny. St. Petersburg, 1897.


Shaternikov, M. N. “Maks Rubner.” Voprosypitaniia, 1932, vol. 1, issue 4.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1908 Max Rubner observed that longevity of mammals increases with body size and that the rate of metabolism of mammals decreases with increases in body size.
A century or so later, German chemist and physiologist Max Rubner used the word 'calorie' to denote the amount of heat required to raise one gram of water, one degree centigrade (Widdowson, 1955).
Lindhauer, Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals, Max Rubner Institute, Schutzenberg 12, 32756 Detmold, Germany; phone: (0)5231 741 420; email:
THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK In 1883, German physiologist Max Rubner proposed that an animal's metabolic rate is proportional to its mass raised to the 2/3 power.