Christian Andreas Doppler (//; German: [ˈdɔplɐ]; 29 November 1803 – 17 March 1853) was an Austrian mathematician and physicist. He is celebrated for his principle — known as the Doppler effect — that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer. He used this concept to explain the color of binary stars.
29 November 1803|
Salzburg, Electorate of Salzburg
17 March 1853 (aged 49)|
Venice, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, Austrian Empire
Imperial–Royal Polytechnic Institute|
|Known for||Doppler effect|
Academy of Mines and Forests
University of Vienna
|Notable students||Gregor Mendel|
Christian Doppler was born in Salzburg (today Austria) in 1803. After completing high school, Doppler studied philosophy in Salzburg and mathematics and physics at the Imperial–Royal Polytechnic Institute (now Vienna University of Technology) where he began work as an assistant in 1829. In 1835 he began work at the Prague Polytechnic (now Czech Technical University in Prague), where he received an appointment in 1841.
One year later, at the age of 38, Doppler gave a lecture to the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences and subsequently published his most notable work, "Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels" (On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens). There is a facsimile edition with an English translation by Alec Eden. In this work, Doppler postulated his principle (later coined the Doppler effect) that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer, and he later tried to use this concept for explaining the colour of binary stars.
This was independently at the same time when physicist Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau (23 September 1819 – 18 September 1896) became also involved in aspects of the discovery of the Doppler effect, which is known by the French as the Doppler-Fizeau Effect. Fizeau contributed towards understanding its effect with light rather than sound, and in doing so, corrected many of Doppler's persistent errors. He also developed the formal mathematical theorem underlying the principles of this effect. In 1848, he discovered the frequency shift of a wave when the source and receiver are moving relative to each other, therefore being the first to predict blue shifts and red shifts of light waves.
Doppler continued working as a professor at the Prague Polytechnic, publishing over 50 articles on mathematics, physics and astronomy, but in 1847 he left Prague for the professorship of mathematics, physics, and mechanics at the Academy of Mines and Forests (its successor is the University of Miskolc) in Selmecbánya (then Kingdom of Hungary, now Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia),  and in 1849 he moved to Vienna.
Doppler's research was interrupted by the revolutionary incidents of 1848. During the Hungarian Revolution, he fled to Vienna. There he was appointed head of the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Vienna in 1850. While there, Doppler, along with Franz Unger, influenced the development of young Gregor Mendel, the founding father of genetics, who was a student at the University of Vienna from 1851 to 1853.
Doppler died on 17 March 1853 at age 49 from a pulmonary disease in Venice (at that time part of the Austrian Empire). His tomb, found by Dr. Peter M. Schuster is just inside the entrance of the Venetian island cemetery of San Michele.
Some confusion exists about Doppler's full name. Doppler referred to himself as Christian Doppler. The records of his birth and baptism stated Christian Andreas Doppler. Forty years after Doppler's death the misnomer Johann Christian Doppler was introduced by the astronomer Julius Scheiner. Scheiner's mistake has since been copied by many.
- Christian Doppler (1803–1853). Wien: Böhlau, 1992.
- "Whonamedit - dictionary of medical eponyms". www.whonamedit.com.
- "Visit Salzburg - Christian Doppler birthplace". www.visit-salzburg.net.
- Eden, Alec (1992). The search for Christian Doppler. Wien: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-82367-0.
- Houdas, Y. (April 1991). "[Doppler, Buys-Ballot, Fizeau. Historical note on the discovery of the Doppler's effect". Annales de cardiologie et d'angéiologie. 40 (4): 209–13. PMID 2053764.
- William, Tobin (2014). Fizeau, Armand-Hippolyte-Louis. Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer New York. pp. 725–726. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_460. ISBN 978-1-4419-9916-0. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- "The Mathematics of Inheritance". Online museum exhibition. The Masaryk University Mendel Museum. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- Schuster, Peter M. (2005). Moving the Stars — Christian Doppler: His Life, His Works and Principle, and the World After. Pöllauberg, Austria: Living Edition. ISBN 3-901585-05-2 (translated by Lily Wilmes; Webpage of the author)
- Štoll, Ivan (1992). "Christian Doppler — Man, Work and Message". The Phenomenon of Doppler. Prague: The Czech National University. p. 28.
- Alec Eden: Christian Doppler: Leben und Werk. Salzburg: Landespressebureau, 1988. ISBN 3-85015-069-0
- Hoffmann, Robert (2007). The Life of an (almost) Unknown Person. Christian Doppler’s Youth in Salzburg and Vienna. In: Ewald Hiebl, Maurizio Musso (Eds.), Christian Doppler – Life and Work. Principle an Applications. Proceedings of the Commemorative Symposia in Salzburg, Salzburg, Prague, Vienna, Venice. Pöllauberg/Austria, Hainault/UK, Atascadero/US, pages 33 – 46.