Schwarzschild, Karl

born Oct. 9, 1873, Frankfurt am Main, Ger.
died May 11, 1916, Potsdam

German astronomer.

He published his first paper (on celestial orbits) at age 16. In 1901 he became professor and director of the observatory at the University of Göttingen. He gave the first exact solution of Albert Einstein's general equations of gravitation, which led to a description of how mass curves space. He also laid the foundation of the theory of black holes, using the gravitational equations to show that a body of sufficient mass would have an escape velocity greater than the speed of light and therefore would not be directly observable, since even light rays from it could not escape into space. See also Schwarzschild radius.

* * *

▪ German astronomer

born Oct. 9, 1873, Frankfurt am Main, Ger.
died May 11, 1916, Potsdam
 German astronomer whose contributions, both practical and theoretical, were of primary importance in the development of 20th-century astronomy.

      Schwarzschild's exceptional ability in science became evident at the age of 16, when his paper on the theory of celestial orbits was published. In 1901 he became professor and director of the observatory at the University of Göttingen, and eight years later he was appointed director of the Astrophysical Observatory at Potsdam.

      While at Göttingen, Schwarzschild introduced precise methods in photographic photometry. The results of his studies clearly demonstrated the relationship between the spectral type and colour of a star. He pioneered in the use of a coarse grating (for example, a glass plate with closely spaced parallel lines etched into it) in the course of measurement of the separation of double stars; the technique has found widespread use in determining stellar magnitude and colour. He also developed certain basic methods for the analysis of solar spectra obtained during eclipses.

      Schwarzschild enunciated the principle of radiative equilibrium and was the first to recognize clearly the role of radiative processes in the transport of heat in stellar atmospheres. His hypothesis of stellar motion is one of the most important results to come out of his fundamental work in modern statistical methods in astronomy. He also made theoretical studies of the pressure exerted on small, solid particles by radiation.

      Schwarzschild made fundamental contributions to theoretical physics and to relativity. He was one of the great pioneers in developing the theory of atomic spectra proposed by Niels Bohr. Independently of Arnold Sommerfeld, Schwarzschild developed the general rules of quantization, gave the complete theory of the Stark effect (the effect of an electric field on light), and initiated the quantum theory of molecular spectra.

      Schwarzschild gave the first exact solution of Albert Einstein's general gravitational equations, which led to a description of the geometry of space in the neighbourhood of a mass point. He also laid the foundation of the theory of black holes (black hole) by using the general equations to demonstrate that bodies of sufficient mass would have an escape velocity exceeding the speed of light and, therefore, would not be directly observable.

      While serving in the imperial German army during World War I, Schwarzschild contracted a fatal illness.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SCHWARZSCHILD, KARL — (1873–1916), German astronomer and mathematician. Born in Frankfurt, Schwarzschild published his first paper, on celestial mechanics, at the age of 15, and worked at the Kuffner Observatory, Vienna, from 1897 to 1899. Schwarzschild taught at the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Schwarzschild, Karl — ► (1873 1916) Astrónomo y físico alemán. En el campo experimental, demostró que el color de una estrella estaba relacionado con su clave espectral, y desarrolló varios métodos para analizar el espectro solar obtenido en los eclipses. Fue uno de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Schwarzschild , Karl — (1873–1916) German astronomer Schwarzschild was the son of a prosperous Jewish businessman from Frankfurt am Main. His interest in astronomy arose while he was at school and he had published two papers on binary orbits by the time he was 16.… …   Scientists

  • Schwarzschild, Karl — (9.10.1873 11.5.1916) Deutscher Astronom, beschäftigte sich unter anderem grundlegend mit der astronomischen Fotografie. Dabei entdeckte er 1899 den nach ihm benannten Effekt, der die bei langen Belichtungszeiten auftretende Unterbelichtung trotz …   Das Lexikon aus „Bernie's Foto-Programm"

  • Schwarzschild — Schwarzschild, Karl …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Karl Schwarzschild — (* 9. Oktober 1873 in Frankfurt am Main; † 11. Mai 1916 in Potsdam) war ein deutscher Astronom und Physiker und gilt als einer der Wegbereiter der modernen Astrophysik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schwarzschild — Karl Schwarzschild Karl Schwarzschild Karl Schwarzschild (9 octobre 1873, Francfort sur le Main – 11 mai 1916, Potsdam) était un astrophysicien allemand. Sa curiosité pour les étoiles se manifesta dès ses premières an …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl Schwarzschild — (9 octobre 1873, Francfort sur le Main – 11 mai 1916, Potsdam) était un astrophysicien allemand. Sa curiosité pour les étoiles se manifesta dès ses premières années scolaires, lorsqu il construisit un petit té …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl-Schwarzschild-Observatorium — der Thüringer Landessternwarte Das Observatorium existiert seit 1960 als Institut der Deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin in der Nähe des Dorfes Tautenburg. 1992 wurde aus dem Institut die Thüringer Landessternwarte (TLS) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Schwarzschild — Karl Schwarzschild. Karl Schwarzschild (9 de octubre de 1873 11 de mayo de 1916), fue un físico y astrónomo alemán, nació en Fráncfort del Meno y fue el mayor de seis hermanos de una familia de ascendencia judía. Joven prodigio, a los dieciséis… …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.