Joseph Littrow, Karl Littrow, Arkadenhof, Universitaet Wien, University of Vienna, physicist, physics, Vienna, Wien, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday at Uni Vienna: Joseph & Karl Littrow

Throughout the month, I’m highlighting notable physicists who’ve been memorialized within the Arcade Courtyard in the main building of the University of Vienna:

2 Apr: Lise Meitner;
9 Apr: Christian Doppler, Erwin Schrödinger;
16 Apr: Joseph Littrow, Karl Littrow;
23 Apr: Josef Stefan;
30 Apr: Ludwig Boltzmann.

These are all names whose work and discovery form the historical and scientific basis of my university education in the field of physics.


A wall plaque memorializes astronomers Joseph Littrow and (his son) Karl Littrow at left and right, respectively. Joseph was director of the Vienna Observatory from 1819 to 1842; Karl succeeded his father as director from 1842 to 1877.

The Littrow crater on the Moon is named after Joseph, but he’s also best known in physics for his optics inventions: the Littrow prism and the Littrow configuration optimizing the performance of a spectrograph with a specially designed diffraction grating.

The university’s historical main building is inside the city’s Old Town which has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. I made the photo above on 16 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/30-sec, f/2.8, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-iGr.

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