Johann Lambert

Johann Lambert

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Johann Lambert. Historical portrait of the Swiss- German physicist Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728- 1777). Lambert contributed to many branches of science. He was the first person to measure the intensity of light in a scientific manner and so founded the science of photometry. The unit of light intensity, the lambert, is named after him. In mathematics, he constructed proofs that the numbers pi and e are irrational, and so cannot be expressed as the ratio of two whole numbers. He also did early work on what came to be known as non-Euclidean geometry. In astronomy, Lambert showed the Milky Way to be shaped like a disc and suggested that there might be other galaxies.

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Keywords: astronomer, astronomy, black-and-white, cosmologist, cosmology, exponential number, german, historical, history, irrational numbers, johann heinrich, lambert, light measurement, male, man, mathematician, mathematics, natural exponent, philosopher, philosophy, photometry, physicist, physics, pi, portraits, surname l, swiss

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