Paul Götz (geophysicist)

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Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Götz (born May 20, 1891 in Heilbronn ; died August 29, 1954 in Chur ; resident in Arosa ) was a German - Swiss geophysicist , meteorologist and astronomer .

Live and act

Paul Götz's tombstone in the cemetery of the Bergkirchli Arosa

Götz studied astronomy , mathematics and physics at the universities of Heidelberg and Tübingen . In 1918 he received his doctorate in Heidelberg with the thesis Photographic Photometry of the Moon's Surface.

As a tuberculosis patient, Götz spent two spa stays in Davos in 1914 and 1915 . After his recovery he stayed in the region and in 1916 found a job as a teacher at the Fridericianum . After receiving his doctorate, he returned to Davos in 1919 to work with the radiation climatologist Carl Dorno at the Physico-Meteorological Observatory . In 1921 he founded at the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and the Kurverein the town of Arosa and the Rhaetian Railway , the Light Climatic Observatory Arosa . The initiators hoped for a scientific confirmation of the healing power of the mountain air in Schanfigg . Götz wanted to prove that the altitude cure cures tuberculosis.

Götz completed his habilitation in 1931 with a thesis on the scientific results of his Spitsbergen expedition and in 1940 received a teaching position for meteorology at the University of Zurich . In 1941 he became a member of the Leopoldina . On May 28, 1946, he and his wife Margarethe were naturalized in Switzerland. After a long and serious illness of atherosclerosis , Götz died on August 29, 1954 in the Kreuzspital in Chur. He was buried in the cemetery near the Arosa Bergkirchli . His wife survived him by almost 40 years and was buried in the same grave in 1994.

After Götz's death, Hans-Ulrich Dütsch headed the observatory before it was taken over by the Swiss Meteorological Institute after 1988 . The series of measurements carried out there from 1926 to 1929 and since 1931 to determine the total amount of atmospheric ozone at an altitude of 10 to 80 kilometers is considered the longest of its kind in the world. Between 1929 and 1931 Götz undertook an expedition to Spitzbergen , where he carried out measurements with the by Gordon Miller Bourne Dobson developed the spectrophotometer and then developed the theory of the reverse effect together with Dobson and AR Meetham . This was the first usable method for determining the vertical distribution of ozone in the atmosphere. After the development of direct methods using balloons and rockets, the method known as the Götz effect is still an applied tool in ozone research at the beginning of the 21st century .

At the outstation of his observatory he took part in the photogrammetric determination of the height of the northern lights . He also dealt with optical phenomena in the atmosphere and the Arosa climate.

The Götzbrunnen at Brüggliplatz in Innerarosa, built in 1958

In 1958, the municipality of Arosa had the so-called Götzbrunnen built at Brüggliplatz in Innerarosa in recognition of its many years of scientific research.

Works (selection)

  • The radiant climate of Arosa . Julius Springer, Berlin 1926
  • Ozone in the atmosphere . In: Compendium of Meteorology (pp. 275-291), American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA 1951
  • Climate and weather in Arosa . Huber, Frauenfeld 1954


Individual evidence

  1. Member entry of Paul Götz at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on December 29, 2017.
  2. Alois Feusi: The hidden laboratory of Arosa. In: January 18, 2016, accessed December 29, 2017 .
  3. Thomas Häusler: Why the world of researchers looks to Arosa. In: September 20, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017 .

Web links

Commons : Paul Götz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files