Gerhard Fanselau

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Gerhard Fanselau (born April 30, 1904 in Leipzig , † April 28, 1982 in Potsdam ) was a German geophysicist.


His parents were the district councilor Wladislaus Fanselau and Sophie. As a result of his father's transfers, he attended the humanistic grammar schools in Leipzig, Breslau, Halle and Berlin. From 1923 to 1927 he studied mathematics and physics at the University of Berlin .

In 1927 he started at the Meteorological Institute of Berlin University and in the following year switched to the Magnetic Observatory in Potsdam , headed by Adolf Schmidt . In the first few years he was busy building the observatory in Niemegk - the electrification of the Berlin tram disrupted geomagnetic observations in Potsdam and in nearby Seddin .

In 1929 he developed the Fanselau coil , later named after him , a further development of the Helmholtz coil (later improved by Braunbek ) , with which particularly homogeneous magnetic fields can be generated using a special arrangement of several individual coils. In 1933 he took over the management of the Niemegk observatory. In 1935 he completed his habilitation in geophysics in Berlin and received a teaching position there in 1941. In 1940 he joined the NSDAP .

At the beginning of 1946, registration operations in Niemegk could be resumed. In 1950 he also became director of the Geomagnetic Institute in Potsdam. In 1954 he was appointed professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin and in 1958 at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig. From 1964 Fanselau was a member of the Leopoldina . In 1960 he was awarded the Silver Patriotic Order of Merit .


  • with Max Grotewahl: Preliminary report on the Bidlingmaier double compass donated by the Carnegie Institution , in: Terr. Magn. (Journal: Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity) 35 (1930), pp. 225–226
  • About measurements with the double compass . Activity report of the Prussian Meteorological Institute Potsdam 1930, pp. 186–193
  • Results of the observations at the Adolf Schmidt Observatory for Earth Magnetism in Niemegk in 1937 . Geophysical Institute Potsdam, Earth Magnetic Yearbooks, Berlin 1941, p. 9ff.
  • Via the magnetically compensated horizontal intensity variometer . Annals d. Hydrographie und Maritimen Meteorologie 71 (1943) pp. 73-75
  • Via a magnetic vertical thread scale . Zeitschrift für Meteorologie 2 (1948) pp. 216–225
  • with Armin Grafe: A new quick registration of the geomagnetic components X, Y and Z at the Oberservatorium Niemegk in: Yearbook 1961 of the Adolf Schmidt Observatory for Earth Magnetism in Niemegk with scientific reports, pp. 135–140 Ed. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin Geomagnetisches Institute Potsdam, Akademie Verlag Berlin, 1962
  • Geomagnetism and aeronomy ; 1965
  • with Horst Wiese: Geomagnetic instruments and measuring methods ; 1960
  • Geomagnetic field scales. In: Journal of Applied Geology 8 (1962), Issue 2, pp. 63–65
  • with Peter Mauersberger : Theory of electromagnetic fields ; 1964
  • Hans Haalck in Gerland's Contributions to Geophysics, ed. Hans Ertel, Berlin, and Karl Jung, Kiel, Volume 78, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Geest & Portig K.-G., Leipzig, 1969, pp. 433-435
  • High Flaming ; 1974
  • with Peter Mauersberger: About the magnetic field from the interior of the earth ; 1959
  • with Julius Bartels : Geophysical moon tables, 1850-1975 ; 1938
  • For evaluating the potential calculations in limited areas ; 1960
  • Geophysical Colloquium on December 1, 1956 in Freiberg ; 1957
  • Some contributions to the theory of fluid mechanics and its application in radiometer theory ; 1927
  • Results of the geomagnetic observations of Prof. Filchner on his second trip to Tibet 1935-1937 ; 1943
  • The generation of homogeneous magnetic fields using square-wave currents ; 1956


Web links

Individual evidence

  2. Werner Braunbek: The generation of largely homogeneous magnetic fields by circulating currents . In: Journal of Physics . 88, No. 5-6, 1934, pp. 399-402. doi : 10.1007 / BF01343500 .
  3. Harry Waibel : Servants of many masters. Former Nazi functionaries in the Soviet Zone / GDR. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2011, ISBN 978-3-631-63542-1 , p. 84.
  4. Neues Deutschland , November 12, 1960, p. 2