Heinrich Kayser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Heinrich Kayser
Heinrich Kayser.jpg
Born Heinrich Gustav Johannes Kayser
(1853-03-16)16 March 1853
Bingen am Rhein
Died 14 October 1940(1940-10-14) (aged 87)
Citizenship German
Alma mater Sophie Gymnasium (Berlin)
University of Strasbourg
University of Berlin
Known for Helium in the Earth's atmosphere,
kayser unit
Awards ForMemRS[1]
Scientific career
Fields Physicist, Spectroscopy
Institutions Technische Hochschule, Hannover
University of Bonn
Doctoral advisor Wilhelm Roentgen
Influences Hermann von Helmholtz
Gustav Kirchhoff
Carl Runge

Heinrich Gustav Johannes Kayser ForMemRS[1] (German: [ˈkaɪzɐ]; 16 March 1853 – 14 October 1940) was a German physicist and spectroscopist.[2]


Kayser was born at Bingen am Rhein. Kayser's early work was concerned with the characteristics of acoustic waves.[3] He discovered the occurrence of helium in the Earth's atmosphere in 1868 during a solar eclipse when he detected a new spectral line in the solar spectrum. In 1881 Kayser coined the word “adsorption”. Together with Carl Runge, he examined the spectra of chemical elements.[4][5][6] In 1905, he wrote a paper on electron theory.[7]

The kayser unit, associated with wavenumber, of the CGS system was named after him. He died at Bonn in 1940.



  1. ^ a b Herzberg, Gerhard (1955). "Heinrich Kayser 1853-1940". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 1: 135–143. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1955.0010. 
  2. ^ Matthias Dörries and Klaus Hentschel (eds.), Heinrich Kayser, Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben. Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaft, Munich, 1996. ISBN 3-89241-019-4.
  3. ^ Mulligan, Joseph F. (1992). "Doctoral oral examination of Heinrich Kayser, Berlin, 1879". American Journal of Physics. 60 (1): 38. Bibcode:1992AmJPh..60...38M. doi:10.1119/1.17040. 
  4. ^ Kayser, Heinrich; Runge, C. (1890). "Über die Spectren der Alkalien". Annalen der Physik. 277 (10): 302–320. Bibcode:1890AnP...277..302K. doi:10.1002/andp.18902771010. 
  5. ^ Kayser, H., & Runge, C. (1892). Über die Spektra der Elemente. Berliner Akademie, 1892.
  6. ^ Kayser, Heinrich, and Carl Runge. (1893). Uber die Spectren der elemente. Verlag der Könogl. Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  7. ^ Kayser, Heinrich. (1905). Die elektronentheorie. DC Heath & Company.