Johannes Rydberg

About Johannes Rydberg

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: November 08, 1854
Birth Place: Halmstad, Swedish
Died On: 28 December 1919(1919-12-28) (aged 65)\nLund
Birth Sign: Sagittarius
Known for: Rydberg formula
Awards: Fellow of the Royal Society (1919)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: Lund University

Johannes Rydberg Net Worth

Johannes Rydberg was bornon November 08, 1854 in Halmstad, Swedish, is Physicist. The brilliant physicist who devised the Rydberg formula, for predicting the wavelengths of photons, Johannes Rydberg was a Swedish scientist who also gave the world of science many other significant discoveries and formulae. He was a physicist who loved science for the sake of it. He was interested in experimental physics and this often interfered in his career growth. His father had died when he was a small kid and thus he had a difficult childhood embroiled in financial troubles. He was a bright and curious student who performed well at school where he became fascinated with mathematics. He studied mathematics in college where his interest grew to include physics and chemistry. Especially intrigued by the periodic table, he published his first paper on the topic. A dedicated physicist, it was his very love for the subject that prevented him from attaining financial success! He interest in physics was more experimental than theoretical, and thus this impeded his academic career. At one point of time he was forced to work as an accountant in a local bank to supplement his income! But ultimately it was his love for physics that led him to devise the Rydberg formula, and propose the concepts of Rydberg constant and Rydberg atoms.
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Biography/Timeline

1854

Rydberg was born 8 November 1854 in Halmstad in southern Sweden, the only child of Sven Rydberg and Maria Anderson Rydberg. When he was 4 years old his father died, and the family was forced to live on a small income. In 1873 he graduated from Halmstads elementärläroverk, where he received high grades in maths and physics. Later that year he enrolled in Lund University, and two years later he was awarded his bachelor's degree. In 1879 he was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy with his dissertation "Konstruktioner af kägelsnitt i 3- och 4-punktskontakt".

1880

Rydberg began his career as an amanuensis in the institution. He became a docent in maths in 1880, and in 1882 became a docent in physics. At this time he began studying the standard atomic weight, because he wondered what was the reason for the seemingly random increase in weight for the atoms in Mendeleev's periodic system. He searched for a formula for several years to no avail.

1885

His next work was about investigating the atomic spectra, explaining why these occurred. Rydberg's research was preceded by Johann Jakob Balmer's, who presented an empirical formula for the visible spectral lines of the hydrogen atom in 1885. However, Rydberg's research led him to publish a formula in 1888 which could be used to describe the spectral lines not only for hydrogen but other elements as well. After his publication in 1890 on the subject, Rydberg returned to his fruitless research on the periodic table.

1897

Rydberg applied for the a professorship in 1897, but despite the recommendations of experts in the subject he was rejected. However, he became an extraordinary professor instead. It wasn't until 1909 that he was upgraded into a full professorship. To earn extra money he worked part-time as a numerical examiner at Sparbanken in Lund from 1891 and as an actuary in Malmö from 1905.

1913

The physical constant known as the Rydberg constant is named after him, as is the Rydberg unit. Excited atoms with very high values of the principal quantum number, represented by n in the Rydberg formula, are called Rydberg atoms. Rydberg's anticipation that spectral studies could assist in a theoretical understanding of the atom and its chemical properties was justified in 1913 by the work of Niels Bohr (see hydrogen spectrum). An important spectroscopic constant based on a hypothetical atom of infinite mass is called the Rydberg (R) in his honour.

1919

In 1913, Rydberg became very ill and was forced to slow down his pace of research, and in 1915 he was granted leave on account of his illness. He died on December 28, 1919 at Lund Hospital and was succeeded by his student Manne Siegbahn. Rydberg is buried at the northern cemetery in Lund and left his wife Lydia Carlsson (1856-1925), son Helge Rydberg (1887-1968) and daughter Gerda Rydberg (1891-1983).