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Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz

Portrait of Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz

Physicist
Born: Dorpat, Duchy of Livonia (today Tartu, Estonia)- 12 February 1804
Died: Rome - 10 February 1865

From a Baltic German family, Heinrich Lenz studied chemistry and physics at the University of Dorpat. From 1823 to 1826 he voyaged around the world with Otto von Kotzebue, studying climate conditions and physical properties of seawater.

At the end of the voyage, he settled in St. Petersburg, where he taught at St. Petersburg University, as well as the German Petrischule and the Mikhailovskaya Military Academy. In 1831, he began his studies of electromagnetism, formulating Lenz's law of electrodynamics in 1833. Lenz was also a friend of Moritz von Jacobi, whom he helped to develop electroplating technologies. Lenz was also influential as a pioneer of precise reporting and rigorous methodology in his experiments, providing a model for future physicists.

Lenz was dean of mathematics and physics at St. Petersburg University from 1840 to 1863, when he was appointed the university's rector, a position he held until his death.

Connected with: Moritz von Jacobi

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