Robert Weis

Kirchhoff Institute for Physics

The Kirchhoff Institute for Physics (KIP) is named after a prominent physicist of the 19th Century: Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, who worked in Heidelberg for 21 years. His well-known lectures on experimental and theoretical physics attracted many students. Kirchhoff's ground-breaking research was extraordinarily diverse, spanning electrical, magnetic, optical, elastic, hydrodynamic and thermal processes. His laws for electrical circuits are well-known. At the time he was in Heidelberg, in conjunction with Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, he discovered spectral analysis and its application to solar radiation. In this way, Kirchhoff laid the foundation for modern astrophysics, as well as formulating the laws of thermal radiation, which played a key role in the discovery of quantum physics. The KIP aims to continue in this tradition of diverse scientific research and education.

Ruperto Carola Lecture Series 200 Years Gustav Kirchhoff

Free spirit. Pioneer. Visionary: Gustav Kirchhoff's scientific findings are still of great importance today for many current research topics. As the founder of spectral analysis in the 19th century, the outstanding physicist (1824 to 1887) not only paved the way for modern astrophysics, but also environmental physics, modern atomic and molecular physics, chemistry and quantum physics still use spectroscopy today. And without Kirchhoff's rules for electrical networks, chip development and the analysis of electrical circuits would be inconceivable.

The Ruperto Carola lecture series in the summer semester 2024 on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Gustav Kirchhoff, who researched and taught as a professor at Heidelberg University for more than 20 years, provides - in addition to a historical introduction to Kirchhoff's life and work - insights into areas of modern research on which Kirchhoff's work has had an influence to this day.


200th anniversary of Gustav Robert Kirchhoff - His life and work then and now

Kirchhoff's scientific activities were so innovative and groundbreaking that they still serve as the basis for research and industrial applications in physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering today. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Gustav Kirchhoff's birth, the Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics, in collaboration with the Physics Institute and the University Museum, is presenting an exhibition to discover new things and reclassify old ones.

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