Kupfer Adolf Yakovlevich
outstanding Russian physicist, academician.
Born in Mitau in the family of a merchant. Besides
him, the family had 15 more children. Kupfer's
multilateral abilities manifested from childhood.He enthusiastically
read classical literature, studied French, German, Greek and
English, read poems of great Italian and Spanish poets in the
the natural sciences were of particular interest to the boy. At
home he had a small botanical garden, physical and chemical
laboratories in which he set up experiments using the simple
instruments created by himself.
Kupfer early orphaned. At
the age of 14, he entered the Mitava Gymnasium, after graduating
from it, he decided to study medicine. After
some time studying at the University of Dorpat, he moved to Berlin. His
passion for the natural sciences took its toll, and at the
University of Berlin he focused his attention on mineralogy, which
he studied under the guidance of the famous Weiss. Excursions
in the mountains of Carinthia and in the Tyrol finally attracted him
to this science. In
1819, he traveled around the Harz, then practiced practical
chemistry at Strommeier in Göttingen and received his doctorate here
in 1821. From
Göttingen, Kupfer went to Paris, where he listened to lectures by
the famous mineralogist Gai and acquired a special position of this
his leadership, in 1823 he presented to the Berlin Academy a
scientific work for which he won an award; This
work is considered to be a classic essay on crystallography; it
showed “Kupfer's extraordinary wit in finding the simplest and most
convenient methods for investigating difficult and extremely precise
studies of phenomena”.
In the same year of 1824, Kupfer received an invitation to take
up the chair of physics at Kazan University; on
the instructions of the ministry, he made a trip to various training
centers in Europe, purchasing equipment for a physical office, and
in 1824, he appeared in Kazan. Three
years later, in 1827, he was elected a corresponding member of the
Academy of Sciences, and in 1828 an academician in the department of
the election to the Academy, he left Kazan and moved to Petersburg.
After moving to St. Petersburg, Kupfer wrote a number of works on
mineralogy, crystallography, and physics, which were of great
scientific importance and placed him in a row with the first-class
mineralogists of the time. His
work had a great practical value: he took an active part in the
commission to establish accurate measures and weights;the results of
the work of this commission, which are at the same time mainly the
results of the works of Kupfer, were legalized by the Highest Decree
in 1835. In
addition, he was actively engaged in the device in Russia
meteorological observations; he
was the director of the Academy of Sciences magnetic observatory
founded by him; this
observatory was the central body for a whole network of
meteorological stations established in Russia. Together
with Kemz, Kupfer founded a meteorological journal in Dorpat.
Kupfer combined his scientific activity with teaching. In
St. Petersburg, he lectured at the Main Pedagogical Institute, at
the Institute of the Corps of Communications and in the officer
classes of the Institute of Mining Engineers.
Kupfer was a Knight of the Orders of St.
Anna of 1 degree (1864), St.
Stanislav of 1 degree (1860), St.
Vladimir of 3 degrees (1856).
He died in St. Petersburg and was buried in the Smolensk
Lutheran cemetery. Granite
obelisk with a marble portrait bas-relief.
An island in
the west of Lake Taimyr.
the northwest coast of the island of Edge Svalbard archipelago. Named
in 1899-1901 by expedition
on "degree measurement".