Ernst Heinrich Weber

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Ernst Heinrich Weber (born June 24, 1795 in Wittenberg , † January 26, 1878 in Leipzig ) was a German physiologist and anatomist .

Ernst Heinrich Weber, lithograph by Rudolf Hoffmann , 1856
Ernst Heinrich Weber, 1795–1878


Ernst Heinrich Weber was a son of the theologian Michael Weber and brother of the physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber (1804-1891) and the anatomist and physiologist Eduard Friedrich Weber (1806-1871), with whom he also collaborated scientifically. From April 2, 1807 to September 24, 1811, he attended the royal state and princely school St. Afra in Meissen . He then studied natural sciences in Wittenberg, but was evacuated to Leipzig due to the Napoleonic wars, where he completed his studies in 1815, received his doctorate and qualified as a professor in 1817 . In 1818 he became associate professor of medicine and comparative anatomy , in 1821 finally full professor of anatomy (until 1871), and in 1840 professor of physiology (until 1866). Weber also took part in the organizational tasks of the Leipzig University and was rector of the Alma Mater in 1838/39 and 1843/44 . In 1871 Weber celebrated his 50th anniversary as a full professor. In 1876 he was a senior at the University of Leipzig and the medical faculty.


Weber dealt with the human, comparative and microscopic anatomy as well as the evolutionary history of animals and physiology, especially their physical side; He has made important studies on the mechanics of walking as well as on the pressure, temperature and spatial sense in the human skin. Together with Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887) Weber is one of the founders of experimental psychology and psychophysics . Weber-Fechner's law goes back to him .

In 1825 (and again in more detail in 1834) he described the Weber experiment, named after him, to test a hearing impairment. He was the first to notice lateralization (one-sided amplification of sound perception) under certain circumstances.


In 1827 he was elected a corresponding member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences , in 1859 he became a foreign member. In 1846, the year it was founded, he became a full member of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences . Since 1851 he was a foreign member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and since 1863 of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In 1858 he was elected a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina . In 1859 he was accepted into the Order of Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts . Since 1871 Weber was an honorary citizen of the city of Leipzig. Weber was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Royal Saxon Order of Merit for his services . He also received the title of Secret Medical Council .

On May 23, 2000 the asteroid (11042) Ernstweber was named after him.


  • Anatomia comparata nervi sympathici cum tabulis aeneis . Reclam, Leipzig 1817.
  • De systemate nerveo organico . Leipzig 1817.
  • De aure et auditu hominis et animalium . Leipzig 1820.
  • Tractatus de motu iridis . Glück, Leipzig 1821. (with Ernst Wilisch)
  • Nonnulla de venaesectionis in organismum universum vi et in curanda nominatim inflammatione usu . Hirschfeld, Leipzig 1823.
  • De strato musculoso tunicae venarum mediae in quibusdam mammalibus majoribus indagato . Staritz, Leipzig 1823. (with Karl Friedrich Weigel)
  • De zostere . Leipzig 1825.
  • De febre puerperali . Leipzig 1825.
  • Wave theory based on experiments or on the waves of dripping liquids with application to the sound and light waves . Fleischer, Leipzig 1825. (with Wilhelm Weber). Also: digitized version, accessed on March 11, 2017
  • Observatio tumoris et ossificationis cerebelli . Leipzig 1826.
  • Dissertatio inauguralis medica eclampiam gravidarum parturientium et puerperarum sistens . Leipzig 1831.
  • De Pulsu, Resorptione, Auditu Et Tactu. Annotationes Anatomicae Et Physiologicae . Koehler, Leipzig 1834.
  • Additions to the doctrine of the structure and functions of the genital organs . Weidmann, Leipzig 1846.
  • De hepatis ranarum structura et functiones observationes novae . Leipzig 1848.
  • Annotationes anatomicae et physiologicae. programmata collecta fasciculi tres . Koehler, Leipzig 1851.
  • The doctrine of the sense of touch and common feelings based on experiments . Vieweg, Braunschweig 1851.


  • Julius PagelWeber, Ernst Heinrich . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 41, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1896, p. 290.
  • August Hermann Kreyssig : Afraner-Album, list of all students of the Royal State School in Meissen from 1543 to 1875, 8422 in number , Meissen 1876, digital copy of the SLUB , p. 424
  • Elliot Benjamin: “The men and their forks.” Heinrich Adolf Rinne (1819–1868), Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878) Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery 2000; 4: 120–121 ( PDF ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ))
  • Holger Münzel: Max von Frey. Life and work with special consideration of his sensory-physiological research. Würzburg 1992 (= Würzburg medical historical research , 53), ISBN 3-88479-803-0 , p. 205 f.

Web links

Wikisource: Ernst Heinrich Weber  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 253.
  2. ^ List of members Leopoldina, Ernst Heinrich Weber