Georg Hermann Quincke

Prof Georg Hermann Quincke FRSFor HFRSE (German: [ˈkvɪŋkə]; November 19, 1834 – January 13, 1924) was a German physicist.

Georg Hermann Quincke
Born(1834-11-19)19 November 1834
Died13 January 1924(1924-01-13) (aged 89)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorH. G. Magnus,
F. E. Neumann
Doctoral studentsK. F. Braun,
P. Lenard
Other notable studentsAlbert A. Michelson[1]


Born in Frankfurt-on-Oder, Quincke was the son of prominent physician Geheimer Medicinal-Rath Hermann Quincke and the older brother of physician Heinrich Quincke.

Quincke received his Ph. D. in 1858 at Berlin, having previously studied also at Königsberg and at Heidelberg. He became privatdocent at Berlin in 1859, professor at Berlin in 1865, professor at Würzburg in 1872, and in 1875 was called to be professor of physics at Heidelberg, where he remained until his retirement in 1907. His doctor's dissertation was on the subject of the capillary constant of mercury, and his investigations of all capillary phenomena are classical.

In September 1860, Quincke was one of the participants in the Karlsruhe Congress, the first international conference of chemistry worldwide. He and Adolf von Baeyer represented the University of Berlin in Congress.

Quincke also did important work in the experimental study of the reflection of light, especially from metallic surfaces, and carried on prolonged researches on the subject of the influence of electric forces upon the constants of different forms of matter, modifying the dissociation hypothesis of Clausius.

"Quincke's interference tube" is an apparatus used to demonstrate interference phenomena of sound waves.[2][3]

Quincke received a D. C. L. from Oxford and an LL. D. from Cambridge and from Glasgow and was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 1885 he published Geschichte des physikalischen Instituts der Universität Heidelberg.

Quincke died in Heidelberg at age 89. It is believed that Quincke was the last living participant of the Karlsruhe Congress.


  1. Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., The Ethereal Aether, University of Texas Press, 2013.
  2. Plett - Schmidseder / edited by Walther Killy Dictionary of German Biography
  3. Quincke's Interference Tube Physics; University of Michigan


  • Georg Hermann Quincke at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • "Heinrich Irenaeus Quincke". Who Named It? (Retrieved January 23, 2007).
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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