Wilhelm Wien

Wilhelm Wien ( born January 13, 1864 in Gaffken at Fischhausen in Sambia, East Prussia, † August 30, 1928 in Munich) was a German physicist. He primarily explored the laws of thermal radiation and received in 1911 the Nobel Prize for Physics.


1866 moved family to Vienna Drachenstein at Rastenburg, where his father Carl Vienna had bought a farm. William attended from 1879 Duke Albrecht School ( Rastenburg ). He had the high school due to poor performances leave, but got private lessons from teachers. From 1880 to 1882 he attended the old-urban high school (Königsberg ).

From 1882 he studied at the Georg -August- University of Göttingen, Friedrich- Wilhelms- University of Berlin. From 1883 to 1885 he worked at the laboratory of Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1886 he received a doctorate in phil .. From 1889, he worked as assistant to von Helmholtz on the Physical- Technical Institute. He habilitated in 1892 in Berlin.

Since 1896 lecturer at Adolf Wüllner at RWTH Aachen, he was appointed in 1899 by the Hessian Ludwigs- University of Giessen on her chair; but he joined in 1900 at the Julius- Maximilians- University of Würzburg, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen succeed. The end of 1919 Vienna went to the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich, to turn to succeed Roentgen. Vienna died in 1928 at age 64.

His cousin Max, Vienna was one of the pioneers of radio frequency engineering. Vienna Vienna Wilhelm 's son Karl became known as extreme - mountaineers.


Vienna developed 1893/94 Wien's displacement law, 1896 Wien's radiation law. 1900 Vienna took the view that all physical processes are electromagnetic in nature and the mass of a body is full with predictable from its electromagnetic energy, which was an important step in the direction of the equivalence of mass and energy. As a staunch supporter of an electromagnetic worldview, Vienna also continued intensively with the problems at that time ether theories and developed in 1904 differential equations for the electrodynamics of moving bodies. Therefore he is one of the forerunners of the special theory of relativity.

1911 Vienna received the Nobel Prize in physics for work on heat radiation.


  • Willy Wien Laboratory of the Physikalisch -Technische Bundesanstalt ( PTB) at the site of WISTA in Berlin- Adlershof
  • Wien filter, see velocity filter
  • Mars crater