Thomas Johann Seebeck

Thomas Johann Seebeck

Infobox Scientist
name = Thomas Johann Seebeck
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birth_date = April 9 1770
birth_place = Reval
death_date = December 10 1831
death_place = Berlin [cite book | title = A Scientific German Reader | author = George Theodore Dippold | publisher = Ginn & Co. | year = 1904 | url =,M1 ]
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ethnicity = Baltic German
field = Physics
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known_for = Discovered the thermoelectric effect
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Thomas Johann Seebeck (April 9 1770 – December 10 1831) was a physicist who in 1821 discovered the thermoelectric effect.

Seebeck was born in Reval (today Tallinn, Estonia) to a wealthy Baltic German merchant family. He received a medical degree in 1802 from the University of Göttingen, but preferred to study physics. In 1821 he discovered the thermoelectric effect, where a junction of dissimilar metals produces an electric current when exposed to a temperature gradient. This is now called the Peltier–Seebeck effect and is the basis of thermocouples and thermopiles.

eebeck effect

In 1821 Thomas Johann Seebeck found that a circuit made from two dissimilar metals, with junctions at different temperatures would deflect a compass magnet. Seebeck initially believed this was due to magnetism induced by the temperature difference. However, it was quickly realized that it was an electrical current that is induced, which by Ampere's law deflects the magnet. More specifically, the temperature difference, produces an electric potential (voltage) which can drive an electric current in a closed circuit. Today, this effect is known as the Peltier–Seebeck effect.

The voltage produced is proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions. The proportionality constant (a) is known as the Seebeck coefficient, and often referred to as the thermoelectric power or thermopower. The Seebeck voltage does not depend on the distribution of temperature along the metals between the junctions. This effect is the physical basis for a thermocouple, which is used often for temperature measurement.

V = a(T_h - T_c),!

The voltage difference, "V", produced across the terminals of an open circuit made from a pair of dissimilar metals, A and B, whose two junctions are held at different temperatures, is directly proportional to the difference between the hot and cold junction temperatures, "T"h - "T"c.

Precursors to photography

In 1810, at Jena, Seebeck described the action of the spectrum of light on the chloride of silver. He observed that the exposed chemical would sometimes take on a pale version of the color of light that exposed it, and also reported the action of light for a considerable distance beyond the violet end of the spectrum. [cite book | title = The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information | author = Hugh Chisholm, editor | year = 1911 | edition = Eleventh ed. | volume = XXI | pages = p.485 | url = ]


External links

* [ A Biography of Seebeck, includes references]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thomas Johann Seebeck — Thomas Seebeck Thomas Johann Seebeck (* 29. Märzjul./ 9. April 1770greg. in Reval (heute Tallinn); † 10. Dezember 1831 in Berlin) war ein deutsch baltischer Physiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Johann Seebeck — (9 avril 1770 à Tallinn (Empire Russe) 10 décembre 1831 à Berlin (Prusse)), est un physicien allemand qui découvrit l effet Seebeck en 1821 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas Johann Seebeck — Artículo principal: Efecto Peltier Seebeck Thomas Johann Seebeck. Thomas Johann Seebeck (Reval, 9 de abril de 1770 – Berlín, 10 de diciembre de 1831). Médico e investigador físico natural de Estonia, de origen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas J. Seebeck — Thomas Seebeck Thomas Seebeck (* 9. April 1770 in Reval (heute Tallinn); † 10. Dezember 1831 in Berlin) war ein deutsch baltischer Physiker. Biographie Thomas Seebeck wurde am 9. April 1770 in Tallinn in einer vermögenden Kaufmannsfamilie geboren …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Seebeck, Thomas Johann — ▪ German physicist born Apr. 9, 1770, Tallinn, Estonia, Russian Empire died Dec. 10, 1831, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]       German physicist who discovered (1821) that an electric current flows between different conductive materials that are kept… …   Universalium

  • Seebeck , Thomas Johann — (1770–1831) Estonian–German physicist Seebeck was born into a wealthy family in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, and moved to Germany at the age of 17. He studied medicine in Berlin and in 1802 received an MD from the University of Göttingen. More… …   Scientists

  • Seebeck, Thomas Johann — ► (1770 1831) Físico alemán. Descubrió los fenómenos de termoelectricidad e indicó el comportamiento anómalo del hierro incandescente magnetizado, conocido después como histéresis …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas Seebeck — Thomas Johann Seebeck (9 de abril de 1770 – 10 de diciembre de 1831) fue físico y en 1821 descubrió el Efecto termomagnético. Thomas Johann Seebeck nació en Reval (actualmente Tallin), capital de Estonia, que era entonces parte de Prussia del… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Seebeck — steht für: Schichau Seebeck, eine Werft in Bremerhaven Seebeck, einen Ortsteil der Gemeinde Beverstedt im Landkreis Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen Seebeck, einen Ortsteil der Gemeinde Vielitzsee im Landkreis Ostprignitz Ruppin, Brandenburg Seebeck ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Seebeck — is the family name of several people:* August Seebeck (1805–1849) scientist * Nicholas F. Seebeck (1857–1899) stamp printer * Thomas Johann Seebeck (1770–1831) physicistThe Seebeck Effect is a form of thermoelectric effect …   Wikipedia

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