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As a scientist, he was the first to hold a professorship explicitly dedicated to experimental physics in Germany. His father, Johann Conrad Lichtenberg, was a pastor ascending through the ranks of the church hierarchy, who eventually became superintendent for Darmstadt.
Unusually for a clergyman in those times, he seems to have possessed a fair amount of scientific knowledge. Lichtenberg was educated at his parents' house until 10 years old, when he joined the Lateinschule in Darmstadt. His intelligence became obvious at a very early age. He wanted to study mathematics, but his family could not afford to pay for lessons. In he became extraordinary professor of physics , and six years later ordinary professor.
He held this post till his death. He led the King through the royal observatory in Richmond , upon which the king proposed that he become professor of philosophy. He also met with participants of Cook 's voyages. Great Britain impressed him, and he subsequently became a well-known Anglophile.
One of the first scientists to introduce experiments with apparatus in their lectures, Lichtenberg was a popular and respected figure in contemporary European intellectual circles. He maintained relations with most of the great figures of that era, including Goethe and Kant. Mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss sat in on his lectures.
In , he was elected a member of the Royal Society. Lichtenberg was prone to procrastination. He failed to launch the first hydrogen balloon. He was one of the first to introduce Benjamin Franklin 's lightning rod to Germany by installing such devices in his house and garden sheds. Lichtenberg became a hunchback as a child owing to a malformation of his spine suffered from a fall. This left him unusually short, even by 18th-century standards.
Over time, this malformation grew worse, ultimately affecting his breathing. Lichtenberg had many romances. Most of the women were from poor families. In , he met Maria Stechard, then aged 13, who lived with the professor permanently after She died in Their relationship was made into a novel by Gert Hofmann , which was translated by his son Michael Hofmann into English with the title Lichtenberg and the Little Flower Girl.
In , the following year, Lichtenberg met Margarethe Kellner — He married her in , to give her a pension , as he thought he was to die soon. They had six children and she outlived him by 49 years. Each volume was accorded a letter of the alphabet from A, which begun in , to L, which broke off at Lichtenberg's death in These notebooks first became known to the world after the man's death, when the first and second editions of Lichtenbergs Vermischte Schriften —06 and —53 were published by his sons and brothers.
Since the initial publications, however, notebooks G and H, and most of notebook K, were destroyed or disappeared. Those missing parts are believed to have contained sensitive materials. Those reflections helped him earn his posthumous fame as one of the best aphorists in Western intellectual history.
Some scholars have attempted to distill a system of thought of Lichtenberg's scattered musings. However, he was not a professional philosopher, and had no need to present, or to have, any consistent philosophy. The scrapbooks reveal a critical and analytical way of thinking and emphasis on experimental evidence in physics, through which he became one of the early founders and advocates of modern scientific methodology.
The more experience and experiments are accumulated during the exploration of nature, the more faltering its theories become. It is always good though not to abandon them instantly. For every hypothesis which used to be good at least serves the purpose of duly summarizing and keeping all phenomena until its own time. One should lay down the conflicting experience separately, until it has accumulated sufficiently to justify the efforts necessary to edifice a new theory.
Lichtenberg, an atheist, satirized religion saying "I thank the Lord a thousand times for having made me become an atheist.
Arthur Schopenhauer admired Lichtenberg greatly for what he had written in his notebooks. He called him one of those who "think Lichtenberg is not read by many outside Germany. Leo Tolstoy held Lichtenberg's writings in high esteem, expressing his perplexity of "why the Germans of the present day neglect this writer so much.
As a satirist, Lichtenberg takes high rank among the German writers of the 18th century. In , Lichtenberg opposed the apparent misrepresentation of science by Jacob Philadelphia.
As a result, Philadelphia left the city without a performance. Based on his visits to England, his Briefe aus England , with admirable descriptions of David Garrick 's acting, are the most attractive of his writings published during his lifetime. In the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment , he strove to educate the common people to use logic, wit and the power of their own senses. Until , three further editions followed, which for many years, remained the standard textbook for physics in German.
As a physicist, Lichtenberg is remembered for his investigations in electricity , for discovering branching discharge patterns on dielectrics , now called Lichtenberg figures. In , he built a large electrophorus to generate static electricity through induction. With it, he discovered the basic principle of modern xerography copy machine technology. By discharging a high voltage point near an insulator , he was able to record strange, tree-like patterns in fixed dust.
These Lichtenberg figures are considered today to be examples of fractals. A crater on the Moon is named Lichtenberg in his honour. His life and works are fictionalized in French novelist Pierre Senges's Fragments de Lichtenberg ; English translation, He proposed the standardized paper size system used globally today except in Canada and the US defined by ISO , which has A4 as the most commonly used size.
Not only are the two longest chapters in the novel Trim's sermon and Slawkenbergius's tale concerned with the bigotry of the orthodox clergy, but, even more significantly, the whole novel, which breathes tolerance, is implicitly concerned with the same thing. And the bigotry of the orthodox Anglican clergy was as much Schopenhauer's hobby-horse as the arts of fortification were Uncle Toby's. He was obsessed by it, as his vitriolic comments on Samuel Johnson — and on the Anglican clergy — show.
Lichtenberg condemned Sterne as a 'scandalum ecclesiae'; no doubt it was precisely this that Schopenhauer appreciated. He also shared, to a marked degree, Sterne's delight in ridiculing pedantry.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. Dieses verdient von den Gelehrten nachgeahmt zu werden. Erst ein Buch worin ich alles einschreibe, so wie ich es sehe oder wie es mir meine Gedancken eingeben, alsdann kan dieses wieder in ein anderes getragen werden, wo die Materien mehr abgesondert und geordnet sind. This deserves to be imitated by scholars. First a book where I write down everything as I see it or as my thoughts put it before me, later this can be transcribed into another, where the materials are more distinguished and ordered.
Scientist , satirist and aphorist. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.
Georg Chr Lichtenberg Aphorismen
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
5. Die Aphorismen