Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (30 November 1756 – 3 April 1827)

Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni was born in Witten berg, Germany. He was the only child of Ernst Marin and Johanna Sophia Chladni. His grandfather was a prominent Lutheran theologian and his father a distinguished jurist.

Although he was educated by his parents in a strict, rather isolated household, Chladni developed a yearning for travel and a strong interest in the natural history of the Earth and the heaven.

Chladni studied law at the universities of Leipzig and Wittenberg, receiving his doctorate at the later institution in 1782, the year of his father’s death. Chladni immediately abandoned law and remained at Wittenberg a few years to study mathematics and science.

One of Chladni’s best-known achievements was inventing a technique to show the various modes of vibration on a metallic surface.

In 1787 he published his Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klanges (Discoveries in the Theory of Sound), consisting a drawing a bow over a piece of metal whose surface was lightly covered with sand. This plate was bowed until it reached resonance and the sand formed a pattern showing the nodal regions.

In late 1792 and early 1793, Chladni visited Gottingen to demonstrate his newly invented keyboard instrument, the euphonium and had the opportunity to talk for many hours with Lichtenberg.

Chladni was one of the first scientists to be believe that meteorites fell from the sky but his opinion was treated with disdain until Jean Baptiste Biot proved him to be correct in 1803.
Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (30 November 1756 – 3 April 1827)

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