Georg Wiegner

Georg Wiegner ( born April 20, 1883 in Leipzig, † April 14, 1936 in Zurich ) was a German agricultural chemist and soil scientist. He turned the findings of colloid chemistry on the floor. As a professor at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland, he founded the soil science as an independent field of research.


Georg Wiegner, son of a large family, studied natural sciences, particularly chemistry, at the University of Leipzig and received his PhD in 1906 with a dissertation on absorption rates between solid and gaseous substances. Since 1907 he worked as an assistant to Wilhelm Fleischmann, the founder of Dairy Science, at the Agricultural Institute of the University of Göttingen. Fleischmann inspired him for the agricultural chemistry. Wiegner explored new methods physico- chemical properties of milk. He received suggestions from the after-effects acting at the University of Göttingen colloid chemist Richard ZSIGMONDY.

Wiegner joined in his experimental work, the laws of colloid chemistry with the findings of Dairy Science. Within a few years he had published numerous articles on the chemistry of milk in respected journals. Based on these publications, he received in 1911 the venia legendi for the subject area Agricultural Chemistry. As a lecturer he held at the University of Göttingen lectures on milk chemical and fertilizer teaching. In 1913 he accepted an appointment as Professor of Agricultural Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Zurich, at up to his death, he was very active research 23 years.

Research services

Wiegner recognized early on that many open problems can be stated and solved in the field of soil science only with the knowledge of colloid chemistry. His first pedological experimental work he published in 1912 in the "Journal of Agriculture " under the title "On the base exchange in the field soil ." She was pointing the way for further research on the bases and cation exchange in the soil, on the soil genetic engineering and the soil mapping. Numerous studies Wiegner could prove that not alone are responsible, the chemical composition but also the texture and the fine structure of the soil particles for the reaction properties of a soil. However, agronomic issues such as the problem of tilth, published henceforth in a new light.

In scientific publications Wiegners an astonishing knowledge of detail is paired with a brilliant talent scientific synthesis. This is particularly evident in his keynote font "Soil and soil formation in colloid- chemical consideration " of the six editions published 1918-1931. Wide attention in the teaching activities of the universities was Wiegners "Instructions for quantitative agricultural chemistry internship " (1926, 2nd edition 1938). Especially in this book, his concern is visible to link agricultural science and agricultural practice together. The agricultural chemistry was for him doing the bridge to meet the chemistry, physics, mineralogy and biology.

In addition to agricultural chemistry and soil science to Wiegner employed in Zurich with problems of animal nutrition. Since 1925 he worked in a newly established at the initiative of the Swiss Farmers' Association " Institute for Pet Nutrition" problems of fodder conservation, pasture technology, digestibility of feed and vitamin effect of feeding.

His scientific life's work met with strong international recognition. Wiegner was an honorary member of several scientific societies, including the International Soil Science Society and the Society of Swiss Analytical Chemists. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zurich awarded him in 1935 because of his research in the field of animal nutrition an honorary doctorate. Despite several honorable appointments to Foreign universities Wiegner is his adopted country, Switzerland, remained faithful.

Publications (selection )

  • On absorption velocities between solid and gaseous substances. About metastable states between solid and gaseous substances. Diss phil. Univ. Leipzig 1906.
  • For base exchange in the field soil. In: Journal of Agriculture Vol 66, 1912, pp. 111-150, 197-222.
  • Colloid chemistry and agricultural chemistry. In: Fühling 's Agricultural newspaper Vol 62, 1913, pp. 1-22.
  • Soil and soil formation in colloid- chemical analysis. Publisher Theodor Steinkopff Dresden in 1918; unchanged reprints ibid. 1921, 1924, 1927, 1929 and 1931.
  • The scientific foundations of swine feeding. In: Swiss Agricultural Monatshefte, Vol 2, 1924, pp. 97-104, 125-133, 144-146.
  • Instructions for quantitative agricultural chemistry internship. With the collaboration of Hans Jenny. Verlag Gebr Borntraeger Berlin 1926 -. 2nd Ed Revised: Hans PALLMANN ibid. 1938 = collection of scientific internships Vol 12
  • Some basic considerations and experiments for physiological assessment of feed due to the fat and meat gain on animals. Proposal for an extension of the strength theory of value ( according to experiments in community with F. Grüningen ). Publisher Schaper Hanover = work of the German Society for Animal Production 63 H.