Heinrich von Wild

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For another Swiss theodolite inventor with a similar name, see Heinrich Wild.

Heinrich von Wild or Heinrich Wild I (1833–1902) was a Swiss meteorologist and physicist.


He was born on 17 December 1833 at Uster (Canton Zurich), and was educated at Zurich, Königsberg, and Heidelberg. In 1858 he was appointed professor of physics and director of the observatory at Bern. In 1868 he was called to Saint Petersburg, where he completely reorganized the observatory and established a meteorological system throughout the Empire and founded the meteorological observatories at Pavlovsk and Irkutsk. Until his retirement in 1895 he remained in the service of the Russian government.

Wild was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1891. He died at Zurich on 5 September


Wild's Polaristrobometer

He invented the polaristrobometer—a form of saccharimeter—a polarization photometer, a magnetic theodolite, and various new optical methods for comparing measures of length.


Many of his papers were published in the Annalem des physikalischen Observatoriums für Russland and the Neues Repertorium für Meteorologie, founded by himself in 1865 and 1869 respectively; and also in the Mitteilungen of the International Polar Commission, of which he was president (1882–83). He published, furthermore, the great work Temperaturverhältnisse des russischen Reichs (Temperature Conditions in the Russian Empire, tables, atlas, etc., 1876; German and Russian).


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