Heinrich Wilhelm Brandes
|Heinrich Wilhelm Brandes|
|Born||July 27, 1777
Groden near Ritzebüttel
|Died||May 17, 1834 (aged 56)
|Occupation||German meteorologist and physicist|
Brandes was born in 1777 in Groden near Ritzebüttel (a former exclave of the Free Imperial City of Hamburg, today in Cuxhaven), the third son of Albert Georg Brandes, a preacher. He studied at the University of Göttingen from 1796 to 1798 under Abraham Gotthelf Kästner and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. Carl Friedrich Gauss was a fellow student. He attained his doctorate in 1800, and spent a short time teaching privately. As an astronomer, he was noted for demonstrating that meteors occur in the upper atmosphere and thus not really a meteorological phenomenon.
From 1801 to 1811 he was at first a technical designer of dykes on the Weser river at Eckwarden, Butjadingen, in the Duchy of Oldenburg, and later a dyke inspector for the lower right bank of the Weser.
He had a very wide range of activities. He wrote a considerable number of mathematics textbooks. In 1820 he published the first weather charts in Beiträgen zur Witterungskunde ("Contributions to Meteorology"). Thus he is considered to be a founder of synoptic meteorology. In 1824 he developed a new method to compute the Euler constant numerically. He died on May 17, 1834, in Leipzig, and was buried in the Alter Johannisfriedhof.
- Versuche, die Entfernung, die Geschwindigkeit und die Bahnen der Sternschnuppen zu bestimmen ("Attempts to determine the distance, speed and course of meteors") (with Johann Friedrich Benzenberg; 1800)
- Die vornehmsten Lehren der Astronomie in Briefen an eine Freundin dargestellt ("Major theories of astronomy, described in letters to a friend") (4 vols, 1811–16)
- Untersuchungen über den mittleren Gang der Wärmeänderungen durchs ganze Jahr; über gleichzeitige Witterungs – Ereignisse in weit voneinander entfernten Weltgegenden; über die Formen der Wolken, die Entstehung des Regens und der Stürme; und über andere Gegenstände der Witterungskunde ("Meteorology") (Leipzig: Barth, 1820)