Menu ☰

Back to Top

Physics History Network

Over 1000 biographies of physicists and histories of institutions with information pertaining to their lives, careers, and research.

Tip: Search within this page by using Ctrl + F or ⌘ + F

Search Our Catalogs

Archives Books


Emilio Segré Visual Archives Digital Collections Oral Histories Archival Finding Aids Physics History Network Member Society Portals Ethical Cataloging Statement

Preservation and Support

Donating Materials Suggest a Book Purchase Saving Archival Collections Grants to Archives Documentation Projects History Newsletters

Center for History of Physics

Scholarship & Outreach

Main Navigation

HomeAboutTopic GuidesFeedback

Table of Contents


AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects




Archival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

M. Lippmann



August 16, 1845 – July 13, 1921

Authorized Form of Name

Lippmann, M. (Gabriel), 1845-1921

Additional Forms of Names

Lippmann, Gabriel, 1845-1921

Lippmann, Joseph Ferdinand Gabriel, 1845-1921



Gabriel Lippmann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1908 "for his method of reproducing colours photographically based on the phenomenon of interference." Throughout his career as a physicist, he contributed to various areas of the field, such as astronomy, thermodynamics, and photochemistry. He developed instruments to aid his work, such as the sensitive capillary electrometer, the coelostat, and a galvanometer.

Important Dates

August 16, 1845Birth, Hollerich (Luxembourg, Luxembourg).

1858Began studies at the Lycée Napoléon (Henry IV College), Paris (France).

1868Admitted to École Normale Supérieure, Paris (France).

1873Given scientific mission by French government to work alongside scholars as research assistant, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany).

1878 – 1921Joined Faculty of Science (1878); Professor of Mathematics (1883); Professor of Experimental Physics (1886); and Director of Research Laboratory (1886-1921), Université de Paris and Paris-Sorbonne, Paris (France).

1881Predicted the reverse effect of the piezoelectric phenomenon, Paris (France).

1886Became Member (1886-1912) and President (1912), Académie des Sciences, Paris (France).

1891Presented theories on the photographic reproduction of color, now known as the Lippmann Process, before the Académie des Sciences, Paris (France).

1893Presented photographic reproduction of color theories with greater success; perfect colors were produced in this round of tests.

1894Published complete theory of the photographic reproduction of color.

1895Developed method of photographic registration and studied irregularities of pendulum clocks.

1908Awarded Nobel Prize of Physics for methods of color reproduction in photography.

July 13, 1921Death, at sea, Atlantic Ocean.


Physicist and inventor.



Hollerich (Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

Undergraduate Education

Paris (France)


Paris (France)


Atlantic Ocean



Optical physics and engineering.







Advisors & Collaborators

Curie, Marie, 1867-1934

Advised by Lippmann at University of Paris (Université de Paris).

Curie, Pierre, 1859-1906

Advised by Lippmann at Paris-Sorbonne University.

Helmholtz, Hermann von, 1821-1894

Researcher adviser at University of Berlin (Universität Berlin).

Jamin, J. (Jules)

Advisor at University of Paris (Université de Paris).

Kirchhoff, G. (Gustav), 1824-1887

Research advisor at University of Heidelberg (Universität Heidelberg).


Cherbuliez, Victor



Major Positions

Université de Paris

Faculty; Professor of Mathematical Physics; Professor of Experimental Physics; and Director, Research Laboratory.

Universite de Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne

Director, Research Laboratory.

Universtät Heidelberg

Research Assistant.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Académie des Sciences (France)

Member and President.

École normale supérieure (France). Laboratoire de physique

Undergraduate degree.


Archival Resources


Commission de la défense nationale, 1914-1919.

Archives et Patrimoine historique

Académie des Sciences

23 quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France

French government records concerning the Services des Missions (in charge of scientific expeditions during the 19th century), 1864-1945.

Archives nationales de France

60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75151 Paris, France

Published Resources


Lecons d'acoustique et d'optique / par G. Lippmann ; recueillies et rédigées par A. Cadot.

Thermodynamique: Leçons professées à la Faculté des sciences par G. Lippmann ... Rédigées par MM. A. Mathias et A. Renault


Encyclopaedia Britannica - Gabriel Lippmann.

Gabriel Lippmann Nobel Prize biography.