On May 25, 1842, 175 years ago, the physicist and mathematician Christian Andreas Doppler, born on November 29, 1803, at Makartplatz 1 in Salzburg, presented his main work at the University of Prague:
“On the coloured light of binary stars and other stars of the heavens“
This scientific work should make Christian Doppler world famous, it describes the influence of the state of motion of celestial objects on their colour, a natural phenomenon that will later bear his name and is known today as the Doppler effect.
When, in 1909, at a meeting of the „Society of German scientists and medical doctors“ Albert Einstein introduced the theory of relativity to numerous exponents of the scientific elite of the time (e.g. Max Planck, Lise Meitner, Max von Laue, Wilhelm Wien, Max Born, etc. ., some later honored with Nobel Prizes) , he coined the sentence:
“No matter what form the theory of electromagnetic processes ever will take, the Doppler principle will be retained in any case.”
The quantum physicist and former President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Anton Zeilinger declared in his lecture at the University of Salzburg in 2007 the Doppler effect to be a: “Millennium effect ”
Hardly any other scientific knowledge has shaped our worldview as decisively as the Doppler principle. No less than 24 Nobel Prize-winning researches with innumerable applications in the most varied areas of natural science, medicine and technology are based on a direct or indirect application of the Doppler effect. Alongside Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Christian Andreas Doppler is now probably the Salzburg citizen most famous all over the world. Doppler’s pioneering scientific findings have become an integral part of our daily life, both in their fundamental importance and in their epistemological dimension that shapes our modern worldview.
According to the motto of Christian Andreas Doppler
“The most worthwhile research is that which both delights the thinker and serves humanity.”
the Christian Doppler Foundation took the anniversary year 2017 – 175 years Doppler effect – as an opportunity to honour the life and work of Christian Andreas Doppler by organising numerous events and thereby making them known to a broad public.