Erman. I. Paul, a German physicist, born in Berlin, Feb. 29, 1764, died Oct. 11, 1851. He first taught at the French gymnasium and the military school, and was professor of physics in the university of Berlin from its establishment until his death. His contributions to science embrace a wide range of subjects, and more especially magnetism and electricity. Having been for some time secretary of the academy for the physical sciences, he became on its reorganization joint secretary with the astronomer Encke of both the physical and the mathematical class. The galvanic prize instituted by Napoleon I. was awarded to him by the French academy of sciences in 1806. II. Georg Adolf, a German physicist, son of the preceding, born in Berlin, May 12, 1806. Between 1828 and 1830 he performed at his own expense a journey round the world, chiefly with the object of making a series of magnetic observations. Hansteen, who had been sent by the Swedish government on a similar expedition to western Siberia, was his fellow traveller as far as Irkutsk. Here they parted company, Erman proceeding to Kamtchatka, whence he sailed to the Russian colonies in America, and returned to St. Petersburg and Berlin by way of California, Tahiti, Cape Horn, and Rio do Janeiro. A description of his journey is embodied in his Reise urn die Erde (5 vols. 8vo, Berlin, 1833-'42). An English translation of the portion of his travels relating to Siberia, by W. D. Cooley, appeared in London in 1848 (2 vols. 8vo.). He has also published separate works on the course of the river Obi and on the animals and plants collected by him on his journey, and has contributed largely to Poggendorff's Annalen and other scientific periodicals.
Since 1841, assisted by many Russian savants, he has edited the Archiv fur wissenschaftliche Kunde von Russland, which is one of the best authorities on the subjects of which it treats. For several years he has held the professorship of physical science at the university of Berlin.