In 1868 he received his medical doctorate in Berlin, and from 1870 to 1879 was a general practitioner in Bad Freienwalde. In 1879 he returned to Magdeburg to practice medicine. In 1885 he earned a doctorate in secondary studies at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Halle, and subsequently became a scientific officer at the Royal Meteorological Institute at Berlin-Grünau. From 1905 to 1914 he was director of the Prussian Royal Aeronautical Observatory at Lindenberg, and afterwards was an honorary professor at the University of Giessen.
Richard Assmann had a particular interest in high altitude research of the Earth's atmosphere and was a pioneer in the field of aerology. With Léon Teisserenc de Bort (1855-1913), he is credited as co-discoverer of the stratosphere, as both men announced their discovery during the same time period in 1902.
From 1887 to 1892, with airship designer Rudolf Hans Bartsch von Sigsfeld (1861-1902), he developed a psychrometer for accurate measurement of atmospheric humidity and temperature. This was the first instrument that was able to provide reliable temperature readings with high altitude balloons, as it was capable of shielding its thermometric elements from solar radiation. The technical implementation and production of this device took place in the factory of Rudolf Fuess (1838-1917).
From 1888 to 1899 he was a member of the Verein zur Förderung der Luftschifffahrt, where he organized scientific balloon ascents for atmospheric study. He is also remembered for popularizating the field of meteorology, and played a significant role in several scientific newspapers and magazines during his career. From 1884 until his death he published the popular monthly magazine Das Wetter (The Weather). In 1903 he was awarded the Buys Ballot Medal with meteorologist Arthur Berson (1859-1942) by Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.
- This article is based on a translation of an article from the German Wikipedia.
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