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Lóránd Baron von Eötvös

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27 July 1848

Pest (now part of Budapest), Hungary

8 April 1919

Budapest, Hungary

Lóránd Eötvös studied at Heidelberg where he was taught by Kirchhoff , Helmholtz and Bunsen. Then he went to Königsberg and studied under Franz Neumann and Friedrich Richelot. He returned to Hungary and received a doctorate with a thesis which studied problems of Fizeau on the relative motion of a light source. This was one of the first steps towards relativity theory.

Eötvös went back to Hungary in 1871 and taught at the University of Budapest where he became professor of experimental physics in 1878. He published on capillarity between 1876 and1886, then he published on gravitation for the rest of his life. He invented the Eötvös balance and showed that, to a high degree of accuracy, gravitational mass and inertial mass are equivalent.

Eötvös founded the Hungarian Society for Mathematics in 1885 and he was important in improving educational standards in Hungary.

What was once the Péter Pázmány University in Budapest is now known as the Lóránd Eötvös University.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland