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10/09/2019 - Alexander von Humboldt and the Exploration of the Earth's Magnetic Field

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 09:15
Seminar Room Research V, Jacobs University
Acknowledgment U. v. Kusserow. - © NASA/T. Philips, WIKIPEDIA, A. Gerst/ESA/NASA, ESA/AOES Medialab, WIKIPEDIA (3), Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, NOAA, ESA/DTU Space, United States Geological Survey, Julien Aubert/IPGP/CNRS/CNRS Photothèque, U. v. Kusserow, ESA/AOES Medialab


"Alexander von Humboldt and the Exploration of the Earth's Magnetic Field" - Multimedia Lecture with Ulrich von Kusserow

In this lecture, richly illustrated by video sequences, the history of the exploration of the Earth's magnetic field will be presented, the causes for its formation and the dynamic development processes in the Earth's magnetosphere will be explained in more detail.
All of the researchers and their insights who have decisively supported the increasing acquisition of knowledge in the past millennia in this context will be presented. They are concerned with the observation and physics of the polar lights, with magnetic compasses and magnetic sensors that not only enable seamen and certain animals to orient themselves on the oceans, on land, and in the air.
The lecture will explain how the Earth's magnetic field components are generated in dynamic processes in the Earth's interior, how and why the properties of these fields can change so drastically in the course of time, and what important influence the dynamic solar wind from the magnetic sun, which varies periodically over time, can have.
Following the presentation of the latest fascinating findings on our Earth's magnetic field, the special importance of Alexander von Humboldt's work for modern science will once again be acknowledged in this context.

Main topics
1. Alexander von Humboldt: Earth Lights, Storms, and the Magnetic Associations
2. Historical Overview of the Research of the Earth's Magnetic Field
3. Generation of geomagnetic field components
4. Recent findings on the Earth's dynamic magnetic field
5.  Summary: Humboldt and Modern Science

More Information:
The 14th of September 2019 marks the 250th anniversary of the birthday of the famous German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). At the age of 85, he described his work on the geography of plants in the tropical world, on the theory of isothermal lines in connection with meteorology and on observations and findings on geomagnetism also in connection with polar phenomena as the three most important and peculiar. He recognized the dependencies of the inclinations and strengths of the magnetic field structures on the geographical location.
With well-known scientists such as Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), he supported the worldwide research of the earth's magnetic field organized in magnetic formations. He observed and investigated the phenomena associated with this magnetic field in great detail, without too much claim to physical explanations. To obtain data, he used measuring instruments, for the first time systematically arranged the data obtained in tabular form and empirically recognized the first important laws.
On his extensive travels, he proved that the magnetic equator did not coincide with the geographical equator, that the intensity of the magnetic field increases in the direction of the magnetic poles and that the magnetic field strength can fluctuate stormy when polar lights appear. The main aim of his work was to convey exciting scientific findings to a wider audience in a way that could be understood by the general public with particularly vivid, lively texts.

Date: 9. Oktober, 2019 Time: 19 Uhr
Place: Seminar room Research V/ E. Krupp, Jacobs University, Campus Ring 1
Reserved seating: Tel. 0421-632214
Entrance: free
Bilingual: German/English

Series „Alexander von Humboldt in the Light of Culture, Science and World Peace“
Concept by Cynthia Bolen-Nieland

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is celebrated as one of the greatest scientist and universal geniuses of all times. He deeply influenced social structures, expanded scientific exploration and was considered one of the most sought after intellectuals of international acclaim for Human Rights. As a brilliant universal thinker and ecologist his legacy reaches even into our modern world today. From October to December 2019, lectures by renowned scientists and researchers will be held about Alexander von Humboldt, his works, his thoughts and his life. The Alexander von Humboldt Lecture Series is open to each and every individual who would like to attend and is free.