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Carl Pulfrich

Carl Pulfrich

German physicist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German physicist
Countries Germany
Occupations Physicist Photographer
Gender male
Birth September 24, 1858 (Burscheid)
Death August 12, 1927 (Timmendorfer Strand)
The details
Biography

Carl P. Pulfrich (September 24, 1858 in Burscheid, Rhine Province – August 12, 1927 in Baltic Sea, drowned when his canoe capsized) was a German physicist, noted for advancements in optics made as a researcher for the Carl Zeiss company in Jena around 1880, and for documenting the Pulfrich effect, a psycho-optical phenomenon that can be used to create a type of 3-D visual effect.

Carl Pulfrich was employed to develop stereoscopy from being pure entertainment to a powerful quantitative technique. His apparatus to measure distances stereoscopically was first presented in Munich in 1899. This was further developed to a stereo-comparator which was presented in Hamburg in 1901. Stereoscopy was used for topographic geography, astronomy studies and the Marine because everything could be done quick and with a high degree of precision. Pulfrich pioneered the use of stereoscopy from planes for topographic purposes.

Carl Pulfrich had realised that people in whom visual function differed between both eyes perceived the stereo-effect:

“Gibt es doch, wie sich jetzt herausgestellt hat, Personen, die auch im freien Sehen das Kreisen der Marke sehen, links oder rechts herum, je nachdem bei dem betreffenden Beobachter das linke oder das rechte Auge schneller reagiert als das andere. In solchen für den Augenarzt besonders beachtenswerten Fällen konnte jedesmal eine mehr oder weniger grosse, durch einseitigen Gebrauch oder andere Ursachen erworbene Ungleicheit der beiden Augen nachgewiesen werden.”
[There are, as we have found out, people who can perceive the circulation of the pointer without using a neutral density filter. The left- or rightward movement depends on whether the observer’s left or right eye reacts quicker than the other. In these cases, relevant to the ophthalmologist it was always possible to demonstrate a difference between the two eyes, due to unilateral use (Translator’s remark: Pulfrich refers to amblyopia) or other causes.]

His comment implies a list of diseases in which the stereo-effect can occur. Puflrich wonders why the stereo-effect was not noted earlier because of the abundance of swinging clock pendulums:

“Wenn man bedenkt mit welch einfachen Mitteln die Erscheinung der kreisenden Marke hervorgerufen werden kann, so kann man sich nur darüber wundern, dass sie anscheinend nicht schon früher einmal beobachtet worden ist, wozu doch jeder Uhrenladen die Gelegenheit bietet.”
[If one considers the simple means used to produce the phenomenon of the circulating pointer, one wonders why this observation has not been made earlier, particularly as every shop selling clocks offers this opportunity.]

Pulfrich Refractometer

A Pulfrich Refractometer measures refractive index of a sample by measuring the critical angle of the sample with a well characterized prism. It was invented by Carl Pulfrich and Max Wolz at the Zeiss factory.

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References
http://doi.org/10.1007%2Fbf01571319
http://doi.org/10.1080%2F01658100802590829
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1922NW.....10..553P
http://isni.org/isni/0000000040066080
http://www.refractometer.pl/Pulfrich-refractometer
https://d-nb.info/gnd/116313013
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no95035612
https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/318608
https://viaf.org/viaf/13054838
https://www.idref.fr/158279883
https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q85047
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