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German inventors and discoverers

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German inventors and discoverers

This is a list of German inventors and discoverers. The following list comprises people from Germany or German-speaking Europe, and also people of predominantly German heritage, in alphabetical order of the surname.

Existing A B C D E F G H  I   J  K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
See also Notes References External links






  • Paul Ehrlich: Scientist in the fields of hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy, and Nobel laureate. Developed an effective treatment against syphilis.
  • Albert Einstein: Father of Theoretical Physics, inventor and discoverer.
  • Ludwig Elsbett: Developed new concepts for Diesel engines which drastically enhanced efficiency.
  • Douglas Engelbart: German American inventor of the computer mouse.
  • Evaristo Conrado Engelberg: Inventor in 1885 of a machine used to remove the husks from rice and coffee, the Engelberg huller.
  • Friedrich Engels: He invented together with Karl Marx the economic and sociopolitical worldview Marxism.
  • Hugo Erdmann: Chemist who discovered, together with his doctoral advisor Jacob Volhard, the Volhard-Erdmann cyclization. In 1898 he was the first who coined the term noble gas (the original noun is Edelgas in German).[4]



  • Hermann Ganswindt: Inventor and spaceflight scientist, whose inventions (such as the dirigible, the helicopter, and the internal combustion engine) are thought to have been ahead of his time.
  • Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss: German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics. Sometimes referred to as "the Prince of Mathematicians".
  • Hans Geiger: Inventor of the Geiger-Müller counter in 1928. It detects the emission of nuclear radiation through the ionization produced in a low-pressure gas in a Geiger–Müller tube. Further improved by Walther Müller.
  • Heinrich Geißler: Inventor of the Geissler tube.
  • Reinhard Genzel: Astrophysicist, he and his group were the first to track the motions of stars at the centre of the Milky Way and show that they were orbiting a very massive object, probably a supermassive black hole.
  • Walter Gerlach: Physicist who co-discovered spin quantization in a magnetic field, the Stern-Gerlach effect.
  • Edmund Germer: Inventor of the neon lamp (Neonlampe).
  • Max Giese: Inventor of the first Concrete pump in 1928.
  • Heinrich Göbel: Inventor of Hemmer for Sewing Machines, 1865,[5] Vacuum Pump (Improvement of the Geissler-System of vacuum pumps, 1881[6] and Electric Incandescent Lamp (sockets to connect the filament of carbon and the conducting wires), 1882[7]
  • Kurt Gödel: Important discoveries in math and logic, such as the incompleteness theorems


  • Fritz Haber: German chemist and Nobel laureate who pioneered synthetic ammonia and chemical warfare.
  • Theodor W. Hänsch: Physicist, developed laser-based precision spectroscopy further to determine optical frequency extremely accurately. Nobel laureate in 2005.
  • Otto Hahn: German chemist and Nobel laureate who pioneered the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. Considered to be "the father of nuclear chemistry" and the "founder of the atomic age". Discovered many isotopes, Protactinium and nuclear fission.
  • Samuel Hahnemann: Physician, best known for creating a system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.
  • Harald zur Hausen: Virologist, discovered the role of papilloma viruses in the development of cervical cancer. His research made the development of a vaccine against papilloma possible, which will drastically reduce cervical cancer in future. Nobel laureate 2008.
  • Henry J. Heinz: Tomato ketchup and fifty six other things.
  • Werner Heisenberg: Theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to quantum mechanics. Discovered a particle's position and velocity cannot be known at the same time. Discovered atomic nuclei are made of protons and neutrons.
  • Wolfgang Helfrich: Co-inventor of Twisted nematic field effect.
  • Rudolf Hell: Inventor of the first fax machine (Hellschreiber).
  • Richard Hellmann: Hellmann's (Blue Ribbon) Mayonnaise, 1905.


  • Otmar Issing: Economist who invented the "pepet pillar" decision algorithm now used by the ECB.



  • Donald J. Kessler: Astrophysicist, known for developing the Kessler syndrome.
  • Hermann Kemper: Invented the magnetic levitation train. Patent granted in 1934.
  • Johannes Kepler: Discovered the laws of planetary motion.
  • Wolfgang Ketterle: German-American physicist who developed an "atom laser", amongst other breakthroughs. Nobel laureate 2001.
  • Erhard Kietz: Pioneer discoverer of video technology.
  • Gustav Kirchhoff: Discovery of the principles upon which spectroscopy is founded.
  • Martin Heinrich Klaproth: Discovered the element Uranium.
  • Klaus von Klitzing: Physicist, known for discovery of the integer quantum Hall effect, 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Ludwig Knorr: Chemist, who together with Carl Paal, discovered the Paal-Knorr synthesis, and the Knorr quinoline synthesis and Knorr pyrrole synthesis.
  • Robert Koch: Physician, discoverer, inventor and Nobel Prize winner. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis (1877), the Tuberculosis bacillus (1882) and the Vibrio cholera (1883) and for his development of Koch's postulates.
  • Arthur Korn: Inventor involved in development of the fax machine, specifically the transmission of photographs or telephotography, known as the Bildtelegraph.
  • Max Kramer: Aircraft engineer. Developed the first operational guided bomb in 1942/43. This first smart bomb was radio controlled and joy-stick operated.
  • Julius H. Kroehl: Inventor and engineer, who built the first functioning submarine in the world.
  • Herbert Kroemer: Physicist, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics 2000 for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics.
  • Werner Krüger: Developed the Krueger flap, a lift enhancement device in modern aircraft wings in 1943.
  • Alfred Krupp: Pioneer in metal casting and metal working process and procedures.
  • Adam Johann von Krusenstern: Navigator and explorer, led the first Russian expedition to circumnavigate the earth.
  • Dietrich Küchemann: Aeronautical pioneer, developed wings for supersonic speed, such as delta wings as used in the Concorde.











  • Dietrich "Diedrich" Uhlhorn: Engineer, mechanic and inventor, who invented the first mechanical tachometer (1817), between 1817 and 1830 inventor of the Presse Monétaire (level coin press known as Uhlhorn Press) which bears his name.


  • Abraham Vater: Professor of anatomy; Ampulla of Vater.
  • Richard Vetter: Developed the most fuel efficient condensing boiler for heating systems in 1980. Used in many houses in Europe.
  • Rudolf Virchow: "Father of modern pathology"; numerous discoveries in the area of medicine.
  • Hans Vogt: Invented sound-on-film (idea 1905) together with Jo Engl and Joseph Massolle, first sound-on-film for the public on 17 September 1922 in Filmtheater Alhambra, Berlin, Germany.
  • Woldemar Voigt (often: Waldemar Voigt): Physicist, who taught at the Georg August University of Göttingen. He worked on crystal physics, thermodynamics and electro-optics. He discovered the Voigt effect in 1898.
  • Waldemar Voigt (aerospace engineer): Chief designer at Messerschmitt's Oberammergau offices and pioneer of the Me 163 and Me 264, project leader of the development of Me P. 1101, Me P. 1106, Me P. 1110, Me P. 1111, Me P. 1112 and Me P. 1116.[10]
  • Jacob Volhard: Chemist who discovered, together with his student Hugo Erdmann, the Volhard–Erdmann cyclization.





See also



External links

  • "Made in Germany"
  • German Inventions - Discoveries
  • A Sampling of German Inventors and Inventions
  • German inventors—"Made in Germany"

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