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date: 25 November 2020

Lambert, Johann Heinrichlocked

  • Murray Campbell


(b Mulhouse, ?Aug 26, 1728; d Berlin, Sept 25, 1777). German scientist. From 1748 to 1758 he was tutor to the children of a Swiss noble family; in 1765 he managed to obtain a post at the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin. He was one of those universal scientists characteristic of the 17th and 18th centuries, and was a figure of particular importance in several subjects mainly connected with physics and mathematics. He determined very precisely the frequencies of the first eight overtones of a bar in its clamped-free modes, correcting and extending Euler’s results; the results of Rayleigh and others, a century or more later, were less conclusive. Lambert projected a musical instrument, the ‘musique solitaire’, whereby a person might enjoy music through his teeth without awakening sleepers.

C.J. Scriba: ‘Lambert, Johann Heinrich’, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C.C. Gillispie (New York, 1970–80) R. Jaquel: Le savant et philosophe mulhousien Jean-Henri Lambert (1728–1777): études critiques et documentaires...

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