Johann Rudolf Wyss, a Swiss author, born in Bern, March 13, 1781, died there, March 30, 1830. He was educated at German universities, and in 1806 became professor of philosophy in the academy at Bern, and subsequently chief librarian. His works include Vorlesungen über das höchste Gut (2 vols., Tubingen, 1811); Der schweizerische Robnson (Bern, 1813), translated into numerous languages, and known in English as "The Swiss Family Robinson;" Idyllen, Volkssagen, Legenden und Erzählungen aus der Scliueiz (3 vols., 1815'22; partly translated into French in Mme. de Montolieu's Chateaux suisses, 1816); and Reise im Berner Oberland (1808; French translation, 2 vols., Bern, 1817).
Johann Salomon Christoph Schweigger, a German physicist, born in Erlangen, April 8, 1779, died in Halle, Sept. 6, 1857. He studied at Erlangen, was Privatdocent there from 1800 to 1802, became professor of mathematics and physics at the gymnasium of Baireuth in 1802 and at the polytechnic institute of Nuremberg in 1811, and from 1819 was professor of physics and chemistry at Halle. After the announcement of Oersted's discovery of electro-magnetism in 1819-'20 he devised an electromagnetic multiplier (see Galvanism, vol. vii., p. 593), which bears his name. He contributed to Gehlen's Journal der Chemie, Physik und Mineralogie (vol. vii., 1808) an article entitled Ueber Benutzung der magnetischen Kraft bei Messung der elektrischen (published separately in Berlin in 1874), containing statements in regard to electro-magnetism from which his friends claim for him the credit of being the original discoverer.
Johann Tobias Burg, a German astronomer, born in Vienna, Dec. 24,1766, died at Wiesenau, near Klagenfurt, Nov. 25, 1834. He was for three years assistant in the observatory at Vienna, and afterward professor at Klagenfurt. In 1798 the French institute proposed an astronomical question, and required that its solution should be based upon at least 500 observations. Papers of great merit were presented by Burg and by Alexis Bouvard, and the judges were at a loss between claims so nearly equal. The difficulty was settled by Napoleon, who contributed 3,000 francs for a second prize. Burg's most important publications relate to lunar motions.
Johann Tobias Mayer, a German mathematician, born at Marbach, Wiirtemberg, Feb. 17, 1723, died in Gottingen, Feb. 20, 1762. He gained a living when a mere youth by teaching mathematics. He early made himself known by scientific productions. The university of Gottingen in 1750 chose him its professor of mathematics, and appointed him director of its observatory. His "Zodiacal Catalogue," comprising 998 stars, is of high authority; and his " Lunar Tables," published in 1755, were deemed of such value by the English astronomer royal that the British parliament awarded his widow £3,000. The most important of his discoveries was the principle of the "repeating circle," employed by Borda in measuring the arc of the meridian.