Arthur König (physicist)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arthur Peter King

Arthur Peter König (born September 13, 1856 in Krefeld , † October 26, 1901 in Berlin ) was a German physicist who was known for his work on physiological optics.

From birth, König was handicapped by kyphosis , which also led to his early death. He studied physics at the University of Bonn , the University of Heidelberg and from 1879 at the Humboldt University in Berlin , where he became Hermann von Helmholtz's assistant in 1879 and received his doctorate in 1882. From 1883 he devoted himself to physiological optics. In 1890 he became director of the physics department of the Physiological Institute at the University of Berlin.

He had been married to Laura Köttgen since 1870, with whom he had the son Arthur König (1896-1969), who became an astronomer. For many years he was head of the astronomy department at Carl Zeiss in Jena, after the Second World War he was an observer at the State Observatory in Heidelberg and most recently an honorary professor in Mainz.

König made fundamental contributions to physiological optics. Together with Conrad Dieterici, he determined the spectral sensitivity of rods and cones in color perception . They specified the three-color theory of color perception examined by Helmholtz and James Clerk Maxwell , for example . König and Dieterici experimentally attributed dichromates in color blindness to the lack of a type of cone.

In 1889 he became editor of the negotiations of the German Physical Society . From 1891 he was editor of the journal of the psychology and physiology of the sensory organs with Hermann Ebbinghaus . In 1896 he published the second edition of Helmholtz's Handbook of Physiological Optics after his death.


  • M. Richter: Arthur König on Memory , The Color, Volume 5, 1956, No. 1/2, pp. 1-6.
  • König Collected treatises on physiological optics , Leipzig: Barth, 1903.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary by Otto Heckmann in Astronomische Nachrichten, Volume 292, 1970, p. 191
  2. The basic sensations and their intensity distribution in the spectrum , session reports Akademie Wiss. Berlin, July 29, 1886, pp. 805–829, English translation, pdf ( Memento of August 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Expanded in 1892 in The basic sensations in normal and abnormal color systems and their intensity distribution in the spectrum , Zeitschrift für Psychologie 1892