Moritz Hermann von Jacobi, German physicist

Moritz Hermann von Jacobi, German physicist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Moritz Hermann von Jacobi (1801-1874). 1867 illustration of the German engineer and physicist Moritz Hermann (Boris Semyonovich) von Jacobi. Von Jacobi moved to St Petersburg, Russia, in 1837. In 1838, he discovered galvanoplastics, or electrotyping, a method of making printing plates by electroplating. In 1839, financed by Tsar Nicholas I, he built a boat that used electric batteries to power a motor to drive paddlewheels. He deduced Jacobi's Law, also known as the maximum power theorem, and worked on the development of the electric telegraph, building a telegraph line between Saint Petersburg and Tsarskoe Selo using an underground cable. He was a strong supporter of the metric system of measurement units.

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