Vilhelm Frimann Koren Bjerknes

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Bjerknes, Vilhelm Frimann Koren

(vĭl`hĕlm frē`män kô`rən byĕrk`nĕs), 1862–1951, Norwegian physicist and pioneer in modern meteorologymeteorology,
branch of science that deals with the atmosphere of a planet, particularly that of the earth, the most important application of which is the analysis and prediction of weather.
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. He worked on applying hydrodynamic and thermodynamic theories to atmospheric and hydrospheric conditions in order to predict future weather conditions. Bjerknes was professor at the universities of Oslo (1907–12, 1926–32); Leipzig (1912–17); and Bergen (1917–26), where he set up a geophysical institute. His work in meteorology and on electric waves was important in the early development of wireless telegraphy. His publications include Fields of Force (1906) and the classic book On the Dynamics of the Circular Vortex with Applications to the Atmosphere and to Atmospheric Vortex and Wave Motion (1921); he is also coauthor with J. W. Sandström (on Vol. I) and with T. Hesselberg and O. Devik (on Vol. II) of Dynamic Meteorology and Hydrography (Vol. I and II, 1910–11; Vol. III, 1951). He evolved a theory of cyclones known as the polar front theory with his son Jakob Aall Bonnevie Bjerknes, 1897–1975, who became a U.S. citizen in 1946. Jakob Bjerknes served as professor of meteorology at the Univ. of Bergen (1931–40) and at the Univ. of California (from 1940).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bjerknes, Vilhelm Frimann Koren


Born Mar. 14, 1862, in Christiania, now Oslo; died there Apr. 9, 1951. Norwegian physicist and geophysicist.

Bjerknes was a professor at the Bergen Geophysical Institute (1917-26) and the universities of Oslo (1926-32) and Stockholm (after 1895). Bjerknes was responsible for studies of electrical resonance, under the direction of H. Hertz (1890-91), which were very important for the development of the radio. Bjerknes proved a theorem about the circulation rate of fluids and, with its help, explained the origin of marine currents and winds. He developed dynamic methods of weather forecasting and founded the weather service in Norway (1917).


Dynamic Meteorology and Hydrography, vols. 1-2. Washington, 1910-11.
Physikalische Hydrodynamik. Berlin, 1933. (With coauthors.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Weather's Face: Features of Science in the Story of Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Bergen School of Meterorology
Along the way, there are glimpses into the scientific hinterland: the obstacles to female involvement (Vilhelm Bjerknes' wife Honoria, the first female maths student at Kristiana University, 'was never able to pursue her interest in numbers and geometry other than through embroidery'), and the rivalry between practitioners--returning from a conference, Bjerknes wrote of an Asian scientist that 'the turban and the oriental eloquence have been good cards in his hand'.
In this engaging volume, James Fleming sets out his case, starting with a 19-year-old Vilhelm Bjerknes (1862-1951) visiting the International Electrical Exposition in Paris in July 1881 with his father, Professor Carl Anton Bjerknes.
He stated upon acceptance that, as he was not a meteorologist, his freedom of action was "uninhibited." Carl Rossby, one of the creators of modern American atmospheric science and a gifted student of Norwegian atmospheric science pioneer Vilhelm Bjerknes, served as co-chair.
M., 1989: Appropriating the Weather: Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Construction of a Modern Meteorology.