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Erwin Madelung

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Nationality  German
Name  Erwin Madelung
Alma mater  University of Gottingen
Doctoral advisor  Hermann Theodor Simon
Other academic advisors  Eduard Riecke
Role  Physicist
Fields  Physics
Erwin Madelung usercontent2hubimgcom5041665f496jpg
Born  18 May 1881 Bonn, Prussia, German Empire (1881-05-18)
Institutions  Goethe University Frankfurt
Known for  Madelung equations Madelung rule
Died  August 1, 1972, Frankfurt, Germany
Institution  Goethe University of Frankfurt
Books  Die Mathematischen Hilfsmittel Des Physikers - Scholar's Choice Edition

Erwin Madelung (18 May 1881 – 1 August 1972) was a German physicist. He was born in 1881 in Bonn. His father was the surgeon Otto Wilhelm Madelung. He earned a doctorate in 1905 from the University of Gottingen, specializing in crystal structure, and eventually became a professor. It was during this time he developed the Madelung constant, which characterizes the net electrostatic effects of all ions in a crystal lattice, and is used to determine the energy of one ion.

In 1921 he succeeded Max Born as the Chair of Theoretical Physics at the Goethe University Frankfurt, which he held until his retirement in 1949. He specialized in atomic physics and quantum mechanics, and it was during this time he developed the Madelung equations, an alternative form of the Schrodinger equation.

He is also known for the Madelung rule, which states that atomic orbitals are filled in order of increasing n + l quantum numbers.


  • Magnetisierung durch schnell verlaufende Stromvorgange mit Rucksicht auf Marconis Wellendetektor. Gottingen, Univ., Phil. Fak., Diss., 1905.
  • Die mathematischen Hilfsmittel des Physikers, Springer Verlag, Berlin 1922. subsequent editions: 1925, 1936, 1950, 1953, 1957, 1964.
  • References

    Erwin Madelung Wikipedia

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