Claude Servais Mathias Pouillet

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Claude Servais Mathias Pouillet.

Claude Servais Mathias Pouillet (born February 16, 1790 in Cusance , Doubs department , †  June 14, 1868 in Paris ) was a French physicist .

From 1811 Pouillet attended the École normal supérieure in Paris, where he soon became a repetent and maître de conférences . He then received the chair of physics at the Collège royal de Bourbon and in 1829 was appointed second director of the Conservatory of Arts and Crafts. In 1831 he was appointed head of this facility.

The physical exothermic reaction that occurs when powder is wetted by a liquid was named as the Pouillet effect . First observed by Leslie in 1802 on dry sand and water, Pouillet described this phenomenon in 1822.

As a supporter of the July monarchy , Pouillet was also one of the representatives of the deputies who supported ministerial policy. After the February revolution of 1848 he retired from political life and resigned from his other offices after the coup d'état of December 2, 1851.

Since 1837 Pouillet was a member of the Academy of Sciences in Paris. He mainly worked on optical , thermodynamic and electrical issues. His Éléments de physique expérimentale et de météorologie (2 vols., Paris 1827), German 1842 by Johann Heinrich Jacob Müller , published from 1875 onwards are famous . by Leopold Pfaundler , as well as the Notions générales de physique et de météorologie (Paris 1850).

In 1838, Pouillet measured the amount of heat radiated by the sun with the " pyrheliometer " he invented . His instrument converts the radiation energy into thermal energy. This can be measured thermometrically and the solar constant can be determined indirectly from this . Pouillet determined 1337 "heat units per second", which corresponds well to the correct value of the solar constant of 1.36 kilowatts / m². Since the correct radiation laws were not yet known at that time, the value calculated by Pouillet for the surface temperature of the sun (1700 ° C) deviates significantly from the actual value (6058 ° C).

Individual evidence

  1. 'Adsorption by powders and porous solids: principles, methodology and applications' Academic Press., 1999
  2. ^ Memoir on solar heat, the radiative effects of the atmosphere, and the temperature of space, by Richard Taylor. Scientific Memoirs 4th (1846) London.
  3. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter P. Académie des sciences, accessed on February 6, 2020 (French).


  • Felix R. Paturi, Chronik der Technik, Chronik-Verlag in the Harenberg Kommunikation Verlags- und Mediengesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, Dortmund, 1988
  • Albert von Ettingshausen: About thermal radiation, especially that of the sun . In: Communications from the Natural Science Association for Styria . Graz 1887, p. LXII ff ( [accessed February 17, 2011]).