Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (12 March 1824 – 17 October 1887) was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and radiation by heated objects. He coined the term black body radiation in 1862.
|Died||17 October 1887 (aged 63)|
|Alma mater||University of Königsberg|
|Known for||Kirchhoff's circuit laws |
Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation
Kirchhoff's laws of spectroscopy
Kirchhoff's law of thermochemistry
|Institutions||University of Berlin |
University of Breslau
University of Heidelberg
|Doctoral advisor||Franz Ernst Neumann|
He proposed two sets of independent concepts in both circuit theory and thermal emission. They are all called 'Kirchhoff's laws' after him, as well as a law of thermochemistry. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after him and his colleague, Robert Bunsen. He also discovered rubidium with Bunsen in 1861.
- A 'black body' is an idealised physical body which absorbs all electromagnetic radiation which strikes it, and reflects none. It is also the best possible emitter of thermal radiation (heat).