Hermann Helmholtz, German physicist

Hermann Helmholtz, German physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894), German physiologist and physicist. Helmholtz electromagnetic coils (producing a region of nearly uniform magnetic field) are named for him. Helmholtz studied medicine and studied the ear and the eye and worked on acoustic theories. He invented the ophthalmoscope and the ophthalmometer. He formulated a form of the law of the conservation of energy, produced vortex theorems in fluid dynamics. The Helmholtz differential equation in mathematical physics is named for him. This last photograph of von Helmholtz was taken three days before his final illness (he died in Berlin on 8 September).

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