Thursday, October 17, 2019

Gabriel Lippmann - Nobel prize of Physics 1908 for colour photography

More than one hundred years ago Gabriel Lippmann recorded the first permanent colour photographs in France. His technique based on recorded light interference structures in an emulsion produced unique colour photographs. It is known as interferential photography or interference colour photography, as well as Lippmann photography.

Gabriel Lippmann was born of French parents at Hollerich (Luxembourg) on August 16, 1845. His parents moved to Paris and eventually he was admitted to the École Normale. Pursuing only the topics that aroused his interest, Lippmann was not an ideal student.

He failed in the examination that would have qualified him as a teacher. Nevertheless, his latent abilities were recognized and he was given the opportunity to study in Heidelberg, where the celebrated physicist, Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (1824-1887) was professor.

He became head from 1886until his death in 1921 of the famous L.R.P.S. “Laboratoire des Recherches Physiques de la Sorbonne”, in which he finalized his interference colour photography.

In 1891 Lippmann announced that he had succeeded in recording a true-colour spectrum. A little more than one year later Lippmann displayed four colour photographs of different objects. Lippmann developed the first theory of recording monochromatic and polychromatic spectra. He applied Fourier mathematics to optics, which was a new approach at that time.

Lippmann died aboard ship on July 12, 1921, while returning from a visit to Canada; but by no means did interest in the development and use of the capillary electrometer die with him.
Gabriel Lippmann - Nobel prize of Physics 1908 for colour photography
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