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Friedrich Ernst Dorn



Friedrich Ernst Dorn (1848, Guttstadt-1916, Halle) was a German physicist who discovered radon.

Additional recommended knowledge

In 1885, at Halle University, Ernst Dorn took over the position of personal ordinarius professor for theoretical physics from Anton Oberbeck. Since Dorn was already an ordinarius professor [1], he was allowed to assume the title so as to not appear as having been demoted. [2] In 1895, Dorn succeeded Hermann Knoblauch at Halle as the ordinarius professor for experimental physics [3] and director of the physics institute. Dorn’s previous duties were taken over by Karl Schmidt, who had been a Privatdozent and was called as an extraordinarius professor for theoretical physics. [4]

In 1900 Dorn discovered radon. He was studying the natural radioactive decay of radium, trying to put together details about what was happening to the mass when he detected the presence of a radioactive gas. Dorn initially called the gas "radium emanation". The gas was later called "niton", and, in 1923, it became "radon". Named after "the element radium", the name niton comes from the Latin word "nitens", meaning "shining". Friedrich Dorn is no longer alive[citation needed].

Bibliography

  • Jungnickel, Christa and Russell McCormmach. Intellectual Mastery of Nature. Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein, Volume 1: The Torch of Mathematics, 1800 to 1870. University of Chicago Press, paper cover, 1990a.
  • Jungnickel, Christa and Russell McCormmach. Intellectual Mastery of Nature. Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein, Volume 2: The Now Mighty Theoretical Physics, 1870 to 1925. University of Chicago Press, Paper cover, 1990b.

Notes

  1. ^ The position of ordinarius professor outranks that of extraordinarius professor, which is comparable to that of associate professor.
  2. ^ Jungnickel, 1990b: p. 37
  3. ^ In Germany, until the early 20th Century, experimental physics was considered to have a priority over theoretical physics, and therefore such positions were considered to be higher in rank. This changed with the mighty rise of German theoretical physics in the early 20th Century, especially through the activities of Max Born at the University of Göttingen and Arnold Sommerfeld at the University of Munich, who adroitly used experimental physics to test and develop their theories.
  4. ^ Jungnickel, 1990b: p. 293


 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Friedrich_Ernst_Dorn". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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