Allvar Gullstrand


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(1862–1930) Swedish ophthalmologist Gullstrand, a physician's son from Landskrona, Sweden, was educated at the universities of Uppsala, Vienna, and Stockholm, where he obtained his PhD in 1890. After working briefly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Gullstrand moved to the University of Uppsala, where he served as professor of ophthalmology from 1894 until his retirement in 1927.

In 1911 Gullstrand was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his work on the dioptrics of the eye. Hermann von Helmholtz had earlier shown that the eye solves the problem of accommodation (how to focus on both near and distant objects) by changing the surface curvature of the lens – the nearer the object, the more convex the lens becomes; the further the object, the more concave the lens. Gullstrand showed that this could in fact account for only two thirds of the accommodation a normal eye could achieve. The remaining third was produced by what Gullstrand termed the ‘intracapsular mechanism’ and depended on the fact that the eye was not a homogeneous medium.

From A Dictionary of Scientists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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