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Josef Stefan

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24 March 1835

St Peter (near Klagenfurt), Austria

7 Jan 1893

Vienna, Austria

Josef Stefan was born to Slovenian parents in Austria. He graduated in mathematics and physics at the University of Vienna and was appointed lecturer in mathematical physics in 1858 and became a professor there in 1866. In 1866 he became director of the Physical Institute at Vienna.

He showed empirically, in 1879, that total radiation from a blackbody is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. Boltzmann , one of his students, showed in 1884 that this Stefan- Boltzmann law could be demonstrated mathematically. Stefan then applied it to determine the approximate temperature of the surface of the Sun. He also did important work on heat conduction in fluids and the kinetic theory of heat.

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