Gustav Kirchhoff

Gustav Kirchhoff was a German physicist who greatly influenced and contributed the foundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects.

Early life

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born on March 12, 1824, in Königsberg, East Prussia. Gustav was the son of Friedrich Kirchhoff and Johanna Henriette Wittke.


Kirchhoff graduated from the Albertus University of Königsberg in 1847. There he attended the mathematico-physical seminar directed by Franz Ernst Neumann and Friedrich Julius Richelot.


Kirchhoff is well know for his circuit laws, which are now a standard in electrical engineering. He formulated these laws while still a student.