Adolf Eugen Fick

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For the ophthalmologist, see Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick.
Adolf Fick
Adolf Fick 8bit korr klein1.jpg
Adolf Eugen Fick (1829-1901)
Born 3 September 1829
Kassel, Electorate of Hesse
Died 21 August 1901(1901-08-21) (aged 71)
Blankenberge, Flanders
Nationality German
Fields Physiology
Institutions University of Zurich
University of Würzburg
Alma mater University of Marburg
Doctoral advisor Franz Ludwig Fick[1]
Doctoral students Johann Jakob Müller[1]
Known for Fick's laws of diffusion
Fick principle
Direct Fick method
Influences Carl Ludwig
He is the brother of Franz Ludwig Fick. He is the uncle of Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick who invented the contact lens.[2]

Adolf Eugen Fick (3 September 1829 – 21 August 1901) was a German-born physician and physiologist.

Early life and education[edit]

Fick began his work in the formal study of mathematics and physics before realising an aptitude for medicine. He then earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Marburg in 1851. As a fresh medical graduate, he began his work as a prosector.[3]


In 1855, he introduced Fick's laws of diffusion, which govern the diffusion of a gas across a fluid membrane. In 1870, he was the first to measure cardiac output, using what is now called the Fick principle.

Fick managed to double-publish his law of diffusion, as it applied equally to physiology and physics. His work led to the development of the direct Fick method for measuring cardiac output.


Fick's nephew, Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick, invented the contact lens.[2]


  1. ^ a b Adolf Eugen Fick at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ a b The "Kontaktbrille" of Adolf Eugen Fick (1887), accessed 20 April 2010
  3. ^ The Virtual Laboratory: Fick, Adolf Eugen, accessed 5 February 2006

External links[edit]