Ernst Mach (1838-1916)

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In History
  • Birth of Ernst Mach

    Ernst Mach was born 18 February 1838 in Chirlitz-Turas, Moravia, Austrian Empire.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Education

    Education
    Mach attended University of Vienna at the age of 17 to study physics and received a doctorate for his studies.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Graduation

    Graduation
    Ernst Mach graduated from Vienna in 1860 with a graduate degree in physics. He went on to instruct as a professor in physics and mechanics until 1864.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Change in Study

    Change in Study
    After his time instructing in Vienna, Mach set out as a professor at the University of Graz in the mathematics department.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Mach Bands

    Mach Bands
    During the 1860s, Mach conducted studies regarding phenomenon surrounding tendencies of the human eye to see 'bands' near boundaries of areas of differing illumination. He published his findings in 1865 with 'On the Effect of the Spatial Distribution of the Light Stimulus on the Retina'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB9Gr5SaT1Y ((Pojman, Paul. “Ernst Mach.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
    Stanford University, 3 Mar. 2019, plato.stanford.edu/entries/ernst-
    mach/#MacBan.))
  • Second Change in Study

    Second Change in Study
    In 1867, Mach departed the University of Graz to instruct experimental physics at Charles University, Prague, where he remained for 28 years.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Narrowing in on his Studies

    Narrowing in on his Studies
    By 1873, Mach developed interest concerning movement and acceleration, and eventually developed optical and photographic techniques to measure sound wave propagation.
    ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Contributions to the Doppler Effect

    Contributions to the Doppler Effect
    Prior to leaving Vienna, Mach successfully produced and observed the Doppler Effect in lab, and demonstrated the accuracy of Doppler's original formula, which was not respected at the time. Ernst Mach conducted further experiments to test Doppler's formulas again, proving them viable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgw01i0pQFw
  • Mach Number

    Mach Number
    After establishing principles of supersonics, he developed the Mach number. This represents the ratio of the velocity of an object to the velocity of sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlaGxYjnoPY ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Philosophy of Perception

    Philosophy of Perception
    Mach introduced his own philosophy stating that 'Perception is never perception of direct stimuli.' He means that knowledge is derived from sensation, not directly caused by it, and that by default, no statement in science is admissible unless it is verifiable. This transitioned Mach into exploring Einstein's Theory of Relativity. ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • Mach's Principle

    Mach's Principle
    Ernst Mach finally hypothesized that the laws of physics are determined by the distribution of matter, and that inertia, for some undiscovered reason, results from the interaction between an object and the masses of all the matter in the universe. This lead Einstein to develop his theory of general relativity. ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • The End of Mach's Scientific Career

    The End of Mach's Scientific Career
    After his participation with Charles University, Mach returned to Vienna as a professor of inductive philosophy, but later suffered a stroke and retired to appointment in the Austrian Parliament. ((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ernst Mach.”
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,
    www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Mach.))
  • The Passing

    The Passing
    Ernst Mach died near Munich, Germany in 1916 due to complications relating to his previous stroke.