*New Organization Founded*

German Commission for the
History of Geophysics and Cosmical Physics

A commission for the history of geophysics and cosmical physics has been founded under the leadership of the internationally well-known physicist Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Treder, formerly director of the Einstein-Laboratory for theoretical physics of the Academy of Sciences.The commission published a journal entitled "Contributions for the history of geophysics and cosmical physics," which is open to all authors.It is a discussion forum for the interdisciplinary discussion of problems in history and philosophy of geosciences and its sub-disciplines, including solar-terrestrial physics and its special problems in development and history, and space physics.

A recent volume has been published under the title "Pathways to Science" and includes authors such as Sir Ian Axford, Syuin-I. Akasofu, Sir Allan Cook, David Oldroyd, Giovanni Gregori, Helmut Moritz, formerly president of IUGG, and many others. The authors described their way to science, especially to geophysics.

Another purpose of the commission is to collect old instruments, biographical notes, scientific correspondence (e.g. selected letters of the Seismologist Emil Wiechert with Hendrik A. Lorentz (Nobel Laureate) and Arnold Sommerfeld (theoretical physicst) has been published by Wilfried Schröder(Archive Hist. Ex. Science, 1982ff) and a comprehensive book on the life and work of Emil Wiechert has been published, too (Wilfried Schröder, Emil Wiechert: Geophysicist, Physicsts and Organizator in International Science, Bremen: Science Edition, 2000; see also: http://huhu.franken.de/history-geophysics/Wiechert.htm). Another topic is the research on the german-american relation, e.g. in the cooperation between bauer and wiechert and others.Parts of the work of Hans Ertel, the founder of the well-known" Ertels Potential Vorticity" and other leading results in geophysical hydrodynamics has been published, which includes his classical works on the Potential vorticity and its application in geophysical hydrodynamics, the Ertel commutative formulae, the Ertel potential theorem etc. His work in physical oceanography, physical hydrography, coastal research, theoretical geomorphology will be published as soon as possible as parts of its collected papers (for Ertel visit http://huhu.franken.de/history-geophysics/hans_ertel.htm). Another point is the development of the ideas of IGY, the discussion and cooperation between Bartels and Chapman, the influence of Bjerknes, Ertel, Nicolet, Berkner,Coulomb, and others of the world-wide cooperation and the interchanges with the foregoing first and second international polar years. Chapman was mostly interested in auroral data from middle and low and since the IGY this part growth up( Chapman, Paton, Hoffmeister, Schršder and others). A special study are under preparation for this, including the aspects of increased airglow and noctilucent clouds. Therefore the work by Paton and the German Cuno Hoffmeister are studied well, including the development by the research of Fogle, Chvostikov, Schršder, Saronov,Vasilyev, Villman and Witt. Also the development of the idea of the solar wind from the data by Hoffmeister from comet tail measurements and later conclusions by Ludwig Biermann are studied and will be published in the journal of the commission.

The lives of other German geophysicists has also been recorded, this include Julius Bartels,Ludwig Biermann,Hans Ertel,Max Eschenhagen, Leonhard Euler, Wilhelm Foerster,Carl-Friedrich Gauß, Beno Gutenberg, Carl-Friedrich Gau§, Hermann von Helmholtz,Cuno Hoffmeister, Alexander von Humboldt, Johann von Lamont, Helmut E. Landsberg - for his German time with Gutenberg), Otto Jesse,Adolf Schmidt, Wilhelm Weber (A book on Weber has been published by the member Karl-Heinrich Wiederkehr), Alfred Wegener and others.

The commission welcomes comments, suggestions from all colleagues. Contact Web master Hans Gaab@t-online.de .Visit the Website http://huhu.franken.de/history-geophysics/english.htlm., or contact the chairman or the Scientific secretary under E-Mail: Geomoppel@t-online.de or any other member of the commission. (Wilfried Schröder,Geophysical Commission)


(posted 8/13/01)

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