Hermann Helmholtz, German physicist

Hermann Helmholtz, German physicist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821- 1894), German physiologist and physicist. Helmholtz studied medicine, graduating in 1842 from the Royal Medicochirurgical Institute of Berlin. He made careful studies of the ear and the eye. In 1851 Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope and the ophthalmometer: the former is used to study the eye's interior and the latter to measure the eye's curvature. His main achievement as a physicist was the formulation of the Law of the Conservation of Energy which he developed at the same time as, but independently from, the German physicist Mayer and the French physicist Joule.

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