Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Coblentz, William Weber

Reference work entry

BornNorth Lima, Ohio, USA, 20 November 1873

DiedWashington, USA, 15 September 1962

American physicist William Coblentz made major contributions to radiometry, the quantitative measurement of the amount of radiation emitted by sources, or hitting surfaces, and established the foundations of infrared spectroscopy. He received degrees from the Case School of Applied Science in Ohio (BS: 1900; Sc.D.: 1930) and Cornell University (Ph.D. in physics: 1903). From 1905 to 1945, Coblentz was chief of the Radiometry Section of the United States National Bureau of Standards and was instrumental in devising standardized methods of measuring the brightness and energy content of radiation, in the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet bands. He was particularly interested in the infrared spectrum of iodine. From 1903, Coblentz investigated the spectra of hundreds of substances, organic and inorganic; his work with rock salt was thorough and accurate, so much so that many of his spectra are still usable....

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Selected References

  1. Coblentz, William W. (1905–1908). Investigations of the Infra-red Spectra. 3 Vols. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.Google Scholar
  2. —(1912). A Physical Study of the Firefly. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.Google Scholar
  3. —(1925). “Climatic Conditions on Mars.” Popular Astronomy 33: 310–316, 363–382.Google Scholar
  4. —(1925). “Temperature Estimates of the Planet Mars.” Scientific Papers of the Bureau of Standards 20, no. 512: 371–397.Google Scholar
  5. —(1951). From the Life of a Researcher. New York: Philosophical Library. (This is the best biographical source).Google Scholar
  6. —(1954). Man’s Place in a Superphysical World. New York: Sabian Publishing Society.Google Scholar
  7. Coblentz, William W. and C. O. Lampland (1923). “Measurements of Planetary Radiation.” Lowell Observatory Bulletin 3, no. 85: 91.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Coblentz, William W., C. O. Lampland, and D. H. Menzel (1927). “Temperatures of Mars, 1926, as Derived from Water-Cell Transmissions.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 39: 97–100.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chester, County ChesterUK