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Victor Schumann (21 December 1841 – 1 September 1913) was a physicist and spectroscopist who in 1893 discovered the vacuum ultraviolet.

Victor Schumann
Viktor Schumann.jpg
Born21 December 1841 (1841-12-21)
Died1 September 1913 (1913-10) (aged 71)
Known forDiscovered the vacuum ultraviolet
Scientific career

Schumann wished to study the "Extreme Ultraviolet" region. For this, he used a prism and lenses in fluorite instead of quartz [1] allowing himself to be the first to measure spectra below 200 nm. Oxygen gas would absorb the radiation with a wavelength below 195 nm but Schumann placed the entire apparatus under vacuum. He prepared his own photographic plates with a reduced layer of gelatin.

He published on the Hydrogen line in the spectrum of Nova Aurigae and in the spectrum of vacuum tubes.[2]

His work opened the way to atomic emission spectroscopy, leading eventually to the discovery of the hydrogen spectral lines series (Lyman series) by Theodore Lyman in 1914.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lyman, T. (1914), "Victor Schumann", Astrophysical Journal, 38: 1–4, Bibcode:1914ApJ....39....1L, doi:10.1086/142050
  2. ^ Schumann V, Astronomy and astrophysics, Volume 12, Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.). Goodsell Observatory

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