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German researcher of electrical engineering.

Biographical Information

Name: Hermann Aron
Born on 1 October 1845 in , Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland, Europe
Deceased on 29 August 1913 in , Hochtaunuskreis, Hesse, Germany, Europe

Short Biography of Hermann Aron

Hermann Aron was the son of a trader and cantor who wished him to become a Jewish scholar. However, wealthy relations were of the opinion that the talented youngster should study. So at the age of 16 Aron went to the Kölln secondary modern school in Berlin, where classical education was combined with the modern natural sciences. After passing his university entrance examination in 1867, he initially studied at the University of Berlin and then at the University of Heidelberg. During those years he attended the lectures of Gustav Kirchhoff, worked as an assistant in the physics laboratory of the Berlin Industrial Academy (today: Berlin TU), gained a doctorate at the University of Berlin and took up the post of physics teacher at the Berlin Combined Artillery & Engineering School. It was in this period that Aron published the first bending theory of elastic shells with any curvature for static and dynamic loading cases [Aron, 1874], making use of the differential geometry approach employed in virtuoso fashion by Clebsch in his book Theorie der Elasticität fester Körper [Clebsch, 1862]. But Aron's shell theory was not adopted; Love formulated a bending theory for shells some 14 years later [Love, 1888], which finally became known through his famous textbook [Love, 1892/93]. “I often think and conceive slower than others,” said Aron about himself, “but my understanding is more longlasting, more thorough” (cited in [Förster, 2005, p. 15]). This self-appraisal fits in completely with his work on shell theory. Aron wrote his habilitation thesis at the University of Berlin in 1876, taking as his theme electrical measurement systems; he then taught physics and chemistry as a private lecturer at that university. In 1879 he and others founded the Berlin Electrical Engineering Society. Aron became famous through his inventions in the field of electrical engineering. For instance, in 1884 he designed the “Aron clock meter”, the first electricity meter, which became the principal product of his successful business (Aron-Werke Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft). The company was renamed Heliowatt Werke Elektricitäts-AG in 1933 and during the years of the Third Reich was Aryanised – a verb of the Lingua Tertii Imperii (LTI – Victor Klemperer), the language of the Third Reich, which stood for the compulsory seizure of Jewish property. Hermann Aron's children saved themselves by emigrating to the USA and UK.

Main contributions to structural analysis:

  • Ueber das Gleichgewicht und die Bewegung einer unendlich dünnen, beliebig gekrümmten elastischen Schale [1874]

Source: Kurrer, Karl-Eugen The History of the Theory of Structures, Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH, Berlin (Deutschland), ISBN 3-433-01838-3, 2008; p. 713

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