Wilhelm Eduard Weber

Wilhelm Eduard Weber ( born October 24, 1804 in Wittenberg, † June 23, 1891 in Göttingen ) was a German physicist. The SI unit " Weber " (abbreviated Wb) of the magnetic flux is named after him.


Wilhelm Weber was born as the son of theology professor Michael Weber in the Wittenberg Castle Road 10 in the house with the golden ball. His brothers were Ernst Heinrich Weber and Eduard Friedrich Weber. Through the events of the War of Liberation and the relocation of the University of Wittenberg, his family moved about Bad Schmiedeberg to Halle (Saale ). Here Weber attended the Latina of the Francke Foundations and participated in his older brother Ernst Heinrich experimental investigations that the publication of the book wave theory, based on experiments (Leipzig 1825) led. In parallel, he studied and qualified as a thesis on the theory of organ pipes.

Following an extraordinary professorship in Halle in 1831, he followed the call to Göttingen ( Kingdom of Hanover ), where he was professor of physics at the Georg -August- University. He lost his office on December 14, 1837 along with six other professors in Göttingen (see Göttingen Seven ), as they were protesting against the abrogation of the Constitution. Since then, Weber lived as a private scholar in Göttingen and was on longer trips.

In 1843 he was appointed to Leipzig until 1849 he was able to return to the bourgeois revolution of 1848 in Germany to its old position.

In Göttingen Weber was very close friends with Carl Friedrich Gauss, with whom he collaborated for many years. They constructed the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1833. To this end, they moved two copper wires over the rooftops of the city of Göttingen and mediated Easter 1833 the telegraphic traffic between the Institute of Physics and the magnetic observatory observatory. In the first message ( in a code similar to the later invented Morse code) was, according to tradition, which may be only a legend, transmitted the text: " Michel man comes. " ( Michel man was the Institute servant. ) In 1836 he founded together with Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt the Magnetic Union.

Fundamental studies on the significance of Weber's electro-dynamic measurement method obtained, which he presented in seven essays in the Proceedings of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences 1846-1878.

Measurements that Weber had performed together with Rudolf Kohlrausch for determining the ratio of the electrodynamic and electrostatic units of charge (1856 ), James Clerk Maxwell later served as the decisive support of his electromagnetic theory of light. The ratio of the electrostatic and electrodynamic unit corresponded namely the magnitude of the speed of light ( in vacuum) and associated it in a surprising way Optics and Electricity.


In Göttingen, Wilhelm- Weber- street is named after him. In Lutherstadt Wittenberg, there are next to the Wilhelm -Weber -Straße, the Wilhelm- Weber-Haus. He also received on August 17, 1864 the Prussian Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts.