Wilhelm Wien

Wilhelm Wien

name = Wilhelm Wien

image_width =150
caption = Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien
birth_date = birth date|1864|1|13|df=y
birth_place = Fischhausen, East Prussia
death_date = death date and age|1928|8|30|1864|1|13|df=y
death_place = Munich, Germany
residence = Germany
nationality = German
field = Physicist
work_institution = University of Giessen
University of Würzburg
University of Munich
RWTH Aachen University
alma_mater = University of Göttingen
University of Berlin
doctoral_advisor = Hermann von Helmholtz
doctoral_students = Karl Hartmann
known_for = Blackbody radiation
prizes = Nobel Prize for Physics (1911)
religion =
footnotes =
spouse = Luise Mehler (1898)

Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien (German: IPA-all|/viːn/) (13 January 1864 – 30 August 1928) was a German physicist who, in 1893, used theories about heat and electromagnetism to compose Wien's displacement law, which relates the maximum emission of a blackbody to its temperature.

As Max von Laue wrote of Wien, "his immortal glory" was that he "led us to the very gates of quantum physics".

Wien was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for 1911. A crater on Mars is named in his honor.

In 1913 he was invited as an Ernest Kempton Adams Lecturer in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University.

Early life

Wien was born at Fischhausen (Rybaki), Province of Prussia (now Primorsk, Russia) as the son of landowner Carl Wien. In 1866, his family moved to Drachstein, in Rastenburg (Rastembork).


In 1879, Wien went to school in Rastenburg and from 1880-1882 he attended the city school of Heidelberg. In 1882 he attended the University of Göttingen and the University of Berlin. From 1883-85, he worked in the laboratory of Hermann von Helmholtz and, in 1886, he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on the diffraction of light upon metals and on the influence of various materials upon the color of refracted light.From 1896 to 1899, Wien lectured at the prestigious Aachen University of Technology.In 1900 he went to the University Würzburg and became successor of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.


In 1896 Wien derived a distribution law of radiation, later named after him Wien's displacement law. Planck, who was a colleague of Wien's when he was carrying out this work, later, in 1900, based quantum theory on the fact that Wien's law, while valid at high frequencies, broke down completely at low frequencies. In 1900 (following the work of George Frederick Charles Searle), he assumed that the entire mass of matter is of electromagnetic origin and proposed the formula m=(4/3)E/c^2 for the relation between electromagnetic mass and electromagnetic energy.

While studying streams of ionized gas, Wien, in 1898, identified a positive particle equal in mass to the hydrogen atom. Wien, with this work, laid the foundation of mass spectroscopy. J. J. Thomson refined Wien's apparatus and conducted further experiments in 1913 then, after work by Ernest Rutherford in 1919, Wien's particle was accepted and named the proton.

Wien received the 1911 Nobel Prize for his work on heat radiation.


*"Lehrbuch der Hydrodynamik" (1900, physics)
*"Aus dem Leben und Wirken eines Physikers" (1930, memoir)

ee also

*Wien's Distribution Law
*History of special relativity
*Mass–energy equivalence


*Wien, W. (1904) „Über die Differentialgleichungen der Elektrodynamik für bewegte Körper“ / [http://www.wbabin.net/physics/traillwien |"On the differential equations of the electrodynamics for moving bodies"] ; "Annalen der Physik (Series 4)", 13(4), 641-662, 663-668; (but now as "digitized" German text, with parallel "English translation", plus extra references and footnotes). For a facsimile of the original (part 1 only), follow the "Band 318" link from [http://www.weltderphysik.de/de/3001.php] .

*cite journal
title = Zur Erinnerung an Wilhelm Wien bei der 25. Wiederkehr seines Todestages
author = E. Rüchardt
journal = Naturwissenschaften
volume = 42
issue = 3
pages = 57–62
year = 1955
url =
doi = 10.1007/BF00589524

*cite journal
title = Zur Entdeckung der Kanalstrahlen vor fünfzig Jahren
author = E. Rüchardt
journal = Naturwissenschaften
volume = 24
issue = 30
pages = 57–62
year = 1936
url =
doi = 10.1007/BF01473963

External links

* [http://www.nobel-winners.com/Physics/wilhelm_wien.html Wilhelm Wien]

NAME= Wien, Wilhelm
DATE OF BIRTH= January 13, 1864
PLACE OF BIRTH= Fischhausen, East Prussia
DATE OF DEATH= August 30, 1928
PLACE OF DEATH= Munich, Germany

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wilhelm Wien — Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien (* 13. Januar 1864 in Gaffken bei Fischhausen, dem heutigen Primorsk in Ostpreußen; † 30. August 1928 in München) war ein deutscher Physiker. Er erforschte vor allem die Gesetzmäßigkeiten der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Wien — Wien en 1911 Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wilhelm Wien — Naissance 13 janvier 1864 Fischhausen ( …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wilhelm Wien — (n. Fischhausen, actual Polonia, 13 de enero de 1864 † Munich, Alemania, 30 de agosto de 1928). Físico alemán. Hijo de Carl Wien, terrateniente prusiano, en 1866 su familia se trasladó a Drachstein, en Rastenburg, Prusia Oriental. En 1879 fue a… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Physiknobelpreis 1911: Wilhelm Wien —   Der deutsche Physiker wurde für seine Entdeckungen bezüglich der Gesetze der Wärmestrahlung mit dem Nobelpreis ausgezeichnet.    Biografie   Wilhelm Wien, * Gaffken (Ostpreußen) 13. 1. 1864, ✝ München 30. 8. 1928; 1890 96 Mitarbeiter an der… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Wien's displacement law — Wien s Law redirects here. For the historical distribution law, see Wien s Distribution Law. Black body thermal emission intensity as a function of wavelength for various absolute temperatures. Wien s law is not obvious in the picture, because… …   Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm — may refer to: People * Wilhelm I, German Emperor (1797–1888), King of Prussia and German Emperor * Wilhelm II, German Emperor (1859–1941), grandson of the former, King of Prussia and German Emperor * Wilhelm Weitling (1808–1871), early German… …   Wikipedia

  • Wien (Begriffsklärung) — Wien bezeichnet: Wien, die Hauptstadt und gleichzeitig ein Bundesland Österreichs Klein Wien, einen Ort in der Gemeinde Furth bei Göttweig in Niederösterreich Wien (Fluss), einen Fluss, der in Wien in den Donaukanal mündet in der Physik den „Wien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wien (disambiguation) — Wien is the German language name for Vienna, the city and federal state in Austria. Wien may also refer to: *Wien International Scholarship, a scholarship instituted by Brandeis University *Wien River, in Vienna, Austria *Wien, Wisconsin, United… …   Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm — Wilhelm, nombre alemán equivalente a Guillermo, puede hacer referencia a: Carl Wilhelm Siemens, ingeniero aleman. Constantin Wilhelm Lambert Gloger, ornitólogo alemán. Friedrich Wilhelm IV de Prusia, rey de Prusia (1840 (1861). Georg Wilhelm… …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.