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Wilhelm Eduard Weber


THE venerable physicist, Wilhelm Eduard Weber, whose death on June 23 we shortly announced last week, was born at Wittenberg on October 24, 1804, the second of three sons of Michael Weber, Professor of Positive Divinity at Wittenberg. He studied at the University of Halle, where Schsveigger was then Professor of Physics; he took his Doctor's degree in 1826, became Privatdocent in the following year, and Professor-Extraordinary of Physics in 1828. In 1831 he was called to Göttingen to succeed Joharn Tobias Mayer in the Chair of Physics, and remained there till 1837. Among other results of the death in this year of King William IV., there came about serious changes in the University of Göttingen. Queen Victoria being excluded from the throne of Hanover, by the operation of the Salic law, her uncle, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hanover. This prince held high views as to the powers of hereditary rulers. In his view the narrow liberties enjoyed by his subjects, under the Constitution reluctantly granted by William IV. in 1833, were excessive and intolerable. He suspended the Constitution, and thereby called forth vigorous protests from Dahlmann and other Professors of the Hanoverian University. As a punishment, seven of them—Dahlmann, Weber, the two Grimms (Jacob and Wilhelm), Albrecht, Gervinus, and Ewald—were ejected from their chairs, and Gervinus, Dahlmann, and Jacob Grimm were even expelled from the country. From this time Weber lived for some years in retirement, but in 1843 he accepted the Professorship of Physics in Leipzig (in succession to Fechner), and in 1849) he returned to his former position in the University of Göttingen. He was in Göttingen at the time of his death.


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F., G. Wilhelm Eduard Weber. Nature 44, 229–230 (1891).

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