Wilhelm Wien


Wilhelm Wien

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Wilhelm Wien
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1911

Born: 13 January 1864, Gaffken (now Parusnoye), Prussia (now Russia)

Died: 30 August 1928, Munich, Germany

Affiliation at the time of the award: Würzburg University, Würzburg, Germany

Prize motivation: "for his discoveries regarding the laws governing the radiation of heat."

Prize share: 1/1


When a completely dark body is heated, it emits visible light and other electromagnetic radiation. The spectrum of the radiation is entirely dependent on the temperature of the body and not its composition. In 1893 Wilhelm Wien formulated his displacement law, which indicates at which wavelength the radiation is most intense at a certain temperature. He subsequently also formulated a law indicating how the radiation spectrum varies as temperature changes. However, this does not apply to large wavelengths, and in 1900 Max Planck formulated a law that conforms better.

To cite this section
MLA style: Wilhelm Wien – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2021. Wed. 20 Oct 2021. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1911/wien/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.