Peter Salcher

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Peter Salcher

Peter Salcher (Kreuzen, 10 August 1848 - Sušak, today part of Rijeka, 4 October 1928) was an Austrian and Croatian physicist.[1][2][3][4]


He studied physics at the University of Graz, where he received his doctorate in 1872. After doctorate, he worked at the grammar school in Klagenfurt, then in Trieste, and in 1875 he came to the Imperial and Royal Naval Academy in Rijeka for professors of physics and mechanics and leader physics laboratory; From 1880 he has also run a meteorological station. Rijeka Academy then was one of the top higher education and research institutions of Austria-Hungary, with carefully selected staff and excellently equipped. During his tenure at the Academy, one of Salcher's students was Georg von Trapp, one of the most highly decorated officers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in World War I and patriarch of the Trapp Family singers, inspiration for the movie The Sound of Music. At the request of Ernst Mach, who has not managed to experimentally prove his shockwave theory, Salcher and his assistant Sandor Riegler, who was then a professor of chemistry and physics at the Rijeka Higher Commercial School, conceived in 1886 an experiment where he managed to record the flight of a projectile shot from a firearm for the first time in history using a specially devised ultra-fast photography technique. The recording was done using a method invented in 1859-64 by August Toepler, Salcher's professor from Graz. The short exposure was achieved using an electric spark, and a total of 80 shots were recorded. Salcher, in collaboration with Ernst Mach, published the results of this experiment in the 1887 paper Photographic recording of phenomena caused by the flight of projectiles through the air (Photographische Fixirung der durch Projectile in der Luft eingeleiteten Vorgänge).[5]

X-ray image of baroness Josephina Mollinary-Vranyczany's hands created by Salcher on 21 February 1896

Further developing his ideas Salcher continued with his experiments and in 1887, in collaboration with John Whitehead (Robert Whitehead's son) he photographed the superficial occurrences of air leakage from high pressure tanks in the Rijeka torpedo factory. Today, it is considered that these experiments were a major breakthrough in the development of modern aerodynamic tunnels testing. One month after the first Röntgen trial in 1896, Salcher demonstrated the use of X-ray in a public lecture in Rijeka. Soon after that, the X-ray device began to be used at the Rijeka City Hospital. Salcher was one of the most prominent figures in Rijeka's scientific and cultural life, a lecturer and author of textbooks, scientific and popular articles, an active member of the Rijeka Natural Science Club and a prominent photojournalist.[6][7][8][9] He died in Rijeka in 1928.

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  1. ^ Alebić-Juretić, Ana (2007-12-15). "PROF. PETER SALCHER – MANJE ZNANI STAVOVI O ZDRAVLJU". Acta Medico-Historica Adriatica. 5 (2): 237–244. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  2. ^ "riječki dani petera salchera - SUŠAČKA REVIJA". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Peter Salcher :: Hrvatski radio". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Torpedo of Rijeka - First in the world - Muzej grada Rijeke". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Salcher, Peter - Hrvatska enciklopedija". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "History of Croatian". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  7. ^ " - Izumi i izumitelji". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Fakultet zdravstvenih studija - The Visitors - FZSRI - UniRi". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  9. ^ Erceg, Nataša; Žauhar, Gordana (2008-05-09). "The beginning of physics teaching in Rijeka". Girep Epec Conference Frontiers of Physics Education : Book of Abstracts: 156. Retrieved 20 July 2017.

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