Julius August Bartels

its earth magnetic activity indicators were officially recognized as international measures in 1951

Historical Earthquake Station/ Persons / Julius August Bartels

Julius August Bartels (1899-1964)

When Julius succeeded Gustav Angenheister as the director of the Institute of Geophysics in Göttingen in late 1945, he returned to the place of his study and doctorate as an internationally renowned scientist. He dedicated his interest and expertise to the development, use and completion of statistical methods for analysing meteorological and geomagnetic observation series.

As early as 1928, he became Professor of Meteorology and Physics at the University of Forestry in Eberswalde, and in 1936 full Professor of Geophysics at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin and Director of the Geophysical Institute in Potsdam. His reputation was built in part on his frequent and sometimes extended stays abroad, especially in the U.S. and, beyond doubt, on the two-volume work entitled “Geomagnetism”, which he wrote together with his British friend Sydney Chapman and published in 1940 and which became the standard work in this field for the next decades.

Bartels’ return to Göttingen was owed not least to the post-war turmoil. It marked the beginning of the last stage of his life full of tasks, successes and honours, in the middle of which the International Geophysical Year 1957/58 took place, which he helped to organise as one of the initiators and planners. Earlier, in 1951, his indices of geomagnetic activity, which is a central part of his lifework, were officially recognised as international measures. In addition to his commitments at the University of Göttingen, he accepted the position as Director of the Institute for Stratospheric Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy in 1956.
He was greatly appreciated for both his scientific work and his personality. In his honour, the European Geophysical Society has awarded the “Julius Bartels Medal” since 1996, and a crater on the far side of the Moon bears his name.

Author: Manfred Siebert

Julius August Bartels
Julius August Bartels