Georg Wolfgang Krafft

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Georg Wolfgang Krafft

Georg Wolfgang Krafft (also: Georgius Wolfgangus Krafftius; * July 15, 1701 in Tuttlingen , † June 12, 1754 in Tübingen ) was a German physicist.


His father, Johann Jacob Krafft (1679–1762) was a pastor in Tuttlingen and took over the first education himself. Admitted to the Bebenhausen monastery school in 1710 , he moved to Blaubeuren in 1717 . Here he was a fellow course member (Compromotionale) Friedrich Christoph Oetinger . In 1722 he went to the University of Tübingen , where he obtained his master's degree after another three years. His teacher and compatriot Georg Bernhard Bilfinger gave him a teaching position at the St. Petersburg high school around 1725 . At the same time he was appointed adjunct of the Imperial Academy of Sciences there, to whose actual member he advanced in 1730. In 1731 he became a professor of mathematics, in 1734 he took over the professorship for theoretical and experimental physics and in 1738 the ephorate of high schools. 1738–40 he was in correspondence with Christian Wolff and 1742–53 with Leonhard Euler . In 1744 he returned to Tübingen with his one-year-old son, where he replaced Johann Conrad Creiling as "Philosophiae Magister" . He was also professor at the Collegium illustrious and rector of the “Contubernium”. In 1745 the Berlin Academy of Sciences appointed him a foreign member.

Duke Karl suggested the construction of an observatory, which was set up under Krafft's direction in 1752 on the north-east tower of Tübingen Castle. He became the first director of the Tübingen observatory . The only instruments available were a second-hand quadrant (protractor) with a 3 foot (approx. 1 m) radius, a pendulum clock from Paris and a 16 foot (approx. 5 m) long lens telescope of moderate quality. Compared to the other, once excellent and now run-down observatories in Germany, Tübingen's observatory prides itself on being one of the best.

He first solved the difficult problem of the double cone rolling uphill.

His son Wolfgang Ludwig Krafft has made a name for himself as an astronomer.


  • Dissertatio Geometrica de problematibus aliquot conicis per analysin concinne solvendis
  • Experimentorum physicorum brevis descriptio , Petersburg, 1738
  • Demonstrations duorum theorematum geometricorum
  • Kurtze Introduction to Theoretical Geometry , Petersburg 1740
  • Brevis introductio ad geometriam theoreticam , Petersburg, 1740
  • Description de la maison de glace construite St Pétersbourg en 1740, avec quelques remarques sur le froid en général , 1741
  • De atmosphere solis, dissertationes duae , Tübingen, 1746
    • Mairan's Traité des aurores boréales , (Voy. Les Mém. De l'Acad. Des sciences, ann. 1747.)
  • Praelectiones academicae publica in physicam theoriticam , Tübingen, 1750
  • Institutiones geometriae sublimioris , Tübingen, 1753
  • Institutiones geometriae sublimioris , ibid., 1753
  • Observationes Meteorologicae factae Tubingae, annis 1747, 1748 et 1749


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Albrecht Weyermann : News from scholars, artists and other strange ... ; Volume 2, p. 254.
  2. ^ Letters from Christian Wolff from the years 1719-1753
  3. Euler's Correspondence with Georg Wolfgang Krafft
  4. ^ Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Department Main State Archive Stuttgart - inventory A 275: Inventories, divisions, custodial and will files of Tübingen university members
  5. ^ Members of the previous academies. Georg Wolfgang Krafft. Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities , accessed on April 17, 2015 .

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