Gabriel Lippmann

(1845—1921) French physicist

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(1845–1921) French physicist

Born at Hollerich in Luxembourg, Lippmann was educated at the Ecole Normale in Paris. After conducting research in Germany he became professor of probability and mathematical physics at the Sorbonne in 1883. In 1886 he became director of the laboratories for physical research and professor of physics at the Sorbonne.

In 1873 he invented the Lippmann capillary electrometer, an instrument for measuring extremely small voltages. Lippmann is, however, better known for producing the first color photographic plate (1891). His color-photography process involved placing a coat of mercury behind the emulsion on the photographic plate. It is the only direct method of color photography but requires a long exposure time. For this work Lippmann was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1908. Lippmann's other inventions included a galvanometer, a seismograph, and a coelostat.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Photography and Photographs.

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