Christian Doppler

Johann Christian Andreas Doppler (November 29, 1803 in Salzburg – March 17, 1853 in Venice) was an Austrian mathematician and physicist, most famous for the hypothesis of what is now known as the Doppler effect which causes the frequency of a wave to apparently change as its source moves toward or away from you.

Christian Doppler


Christian Doppler was born as the son of a stonemason, however could not work in his father's business because of his generally weak physical condition. After completing high school he studied physics and mathematics in Vienna and Salzburg and started to work at the Prague Polytechnic, where he was appointed professor for mathematics and physics in 1841.

Only one year later at age of 39 he published his most notable work on the Doppler effect (for instance to be noticed in the change of sound of a quickly passing vehicle). In his time in Prague as professor he published more than 50 articles in mathematics, physics and astronomy.

His researching career in Prague was interrupted by the revolutionary incidents of March 1848, when he fled to Vienna. There he was appointed head of the Institute for experimental physics at the University of Vienna in 1850.

Already at the age of 50 he died from a pulmonary disease in Venice.


Peter M. Schuster: Moving the Stars - Christian Doppler: His Life, His Works and Principle, and the World After. - Pöllauberg, Austria: Living Edition, 2005. - ISBN 3-901585-05-2 (translated by Lily Wilmes; Webpage of the author)


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