The New Student's Reference Work/Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert
Kirchhoff (kĭrk′ hṓf), Gustav Robert, a distinguished German mathematical physicist, was born at Königsberg, Prussia, in 1824. He began teaching at Berlin in 1848, but in 1850 was called to Breslau to an extraordinary professorship. In 1854 he accepted the professorship of physics at the University of Heidelberg, where, in 1859, in conjunction with Bunsen (q. v.) he published his epoch-making paper on spectrum analysis. Besides this, his most important work, perhaps, is his determination of resistance in absolute measure, his discovery of the laws governing the distribution of electric currents in a network of conductors and his mathematical papers on elasticity and optics. In 1870 he was called to Berlin. He died at Berlin, Oct. 17, 1887. See Life by Boltzmann.