Wilhelm Anderson

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Wilhelm Anderson
Wilhelm Anderson.jpg
Wilhelm Anderson in Tartu
Wilhelm Robert Karl Anderson

28 October [ O.S. 16 October] 1880
DiedMarch 26, 1940(1940-03-26) (aged 59)
Nationality Russian, Estonian, German
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
Thesis Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona

Wilhelm Robert Karl Anderson (28 October [ O.S. 16 October] 1880 – 26 March 1940) was a Russian-Estonian astrophysicist of Baltic German descent who studied the physical structure of the stars.



Wilhelm Anderson was born in Minsk (now in Belarus) into a Baltic German family. [1] His younger brothers were the well known mathematician Oskar Anderson (1887–1960) and the folklorist Walter Anderson (1885–1962). Anderson spent some of his youth in Kazan, where his father Nikolai Anderson (1845–1905) was a university professor for Finno-Ugric languages. [2]

He studied at the University of Kazan, where he graduated from the department of mathematics and science in 1909. Between 1910 and 1920, he worked as a physics teacher first in Samara and then from 1918 in Minsk. [3] Together with his brother Walter Anderson, he moved to Tartu (Estonia) in 1920. At the University of Tartu, he first gained a Masters degree in Astronomy in 1923 and then a Doctorate in 1927. [4] In 1934 he became a habilitation candidate at the university, and in 1936 he received an assistant professorship there, but early in 1939 he suffered a mental breakdown which left him unable to work. [1] . Like the majority of Baltic Germans, he was resettled to Germany in late 1939, where he died in the Sanatorium of Meseritz-Obrawalde, shortly thereafter. It has been suggested that Anderson may have been a victim of the National Socialist "euthanasia" program. [1]

Anderson is probably best known for his work on the mass limit for a white dwarf (one of the final evolutionary states of a star), [5] extending Edmund Stoner's earlier work [6] by relativistic amplification (1929, Tartu), [7] [8] [1] which was in turn further improved by Stoner. [9] [10] The Stoner-Anderson equation of state, a result of Anderson's correspondence with Stoner, is named after him. [11] The white dwarf mass limit was further refined by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and is now known as the Chandrasekhar limit. [12] [9]

Work (selection)

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Piret Kuusk  [ et ], Indrek Martinson.  [ et ], Heino Eelsalu  [ et ]; translated by Groote, S. (1997), "Wilhelm Robert Karl Anderson", Reprints at the Tartu Observatory Virtual Museum, Tartu Observatooriumi Virtuaalne Muuseum , retrieved 2018-10-18CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "Формулярный списокь (service record): Николай Андерсон (Nikolai Anderson)", Oskar Nikolaevich Anderson (1907-1912) (in Russian), St. Petersburg: Archives of the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute of the Emperor Peter the Great in the Central State Historical Archives of St. Petersburg, pp. 9–18, retrieved 2018-10-19
  3. Рафикова (Rafikova), Г. (G.); Ибрагимова (Ibrahimova), Ф. (F.) (2016). "Биографика Казанского университета: Андерсоны (Kazan University Biography: Anderson)" . Гасырлар авазы – Эхо веков (in Russian). 2016 1/2.
  4. "Matrikli Nr. 3300 (Matriculation Number 3300)". Album Academicum Universitatis Tartuensis 1918-1944 (in Estonian). Rahvusarhiiv (Estonian National Archives). Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. Blackman, E. (2006), "Giants of physics found white-dwarf mass limits", Nature (published 2006-03-09), 440 (7081): 148, Bibcode:2006Natur.440..148B, doi:10.1038/440148d, PMID   16525442
  6. Stoner, Edmund C. (1929). "The limiting density in white dwarf stars". Philosophical Magazine. Series 7. 7 (41): 63–70. doi:10.1080/14786440108564713.
  7. Kuusk, P.; Martinson, I. (1997), "Tartu astrofüüsik Wilhelm Anderson", Akadeemia (in Estonian), 2: 358–375, retrieved 2018-10-18
  8. 1 2 Anderson, Wilhelm (1929). "Über die Grenzdichte der Materie und der Energie". Zeitschrift für Physik (in German). 56 (11–12): 851–856. doi:10.1007/bf01340146. ISSN   0044-3328.
  9. 1 2 Nauenberg, Michael (2008). "Edmund C. Stoner and the Discovery of the Maximum Mass of White Dwarfs" (PDF). Journal for the History of Astronomy. 39 (3): 297–312. Bibcode:2008JHA....39..297N. doi:10.1177/002182860803900302.
  10. Stoner, Edmund C. (1930). "The equilibrium of dense stars". Philosophical Magazine. Series 7. 9 (60): 944–963. doi:10.1080/14786443008565066.
  11. Thomas, Edwin G. (2011). "Edmund Stoner and white dwarf stars". Philosophical Magazine. 91 (26): 3416–3422. Bibcode:2011PMag...91.3416T. doi:10.1080/14786435.2011.586377.
  12. Kip S. Thorne (1994). Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy. W.W. Norton. Bibcode:1994bhtw.book.....T. ISBN   978-0-393-31276-8.
  13. Anderson, Wilhelm (1924). "Über die Existenzmöglichkeit von kosmischem Staube in der Sonnenkorona". Zeitschrift für Physik (in German). 28 (1): 299–324. doi:10.1007/bf01327186. ISSN   0044-3328.
  14. Anderson, Wilhelm (1925). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. I". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 33 (1): 273–301. Bibcode:1925ZPhy...33..273A. doi:10.1007/BF01328312. ISSN   0044-3328.
  15. Anderson, Wilhelm (1925). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. II". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 34 (1): 453–473. Bibcode:1925ZPhy...34..453A. doi:10.1007/BF01328489. ISSN   0044-3328.
  16. Anderson, Wilhelm (1926). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. III". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 35 (10): 757–775. Bibcode:1926ZPhy...35..757A. doi:10.1007/BF01386043. ISSN   0044-3328.
  17. Anderson, Wilhelm (1926). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. IV". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 37 (4–5): 342–366. Bibcode:1926ZPhy...37..342A. doi:10.1007/BF01397106. ISSN   0044-3328.
  18. Anderson, Wilhelm (1926). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. V". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 38 (6–7): 530–548. Bibcode:1926ZPhy...38..530A. doi:10.1007/BF01397172. ISSN   0044-3328.
  19. Anderson, Wilhelm (1927). "Die physikalische Natur der Sonnenkorona. VI". ZS. F. Phys (in German). 41 (1): 51–80. Bibcode:1927ZPhy...41...51A. doi:10.1007/BF01454763. ISSN   0044-3328.

Further reading