Karl Friedrich August Rammelsberg

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Karl Friedrich August Rammelsberg
Carl Rammelsberg 1891.jpg
Born1 April 1813
Died28 December 1899(1899-12-28) (aged 86)
Groß-Lichterfelde near Berlin, German Empire
Alma materUniversity of Berlin
Scientific career
FieldsInorganic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Berlin
Doctoral advisorGustav Rose
Doctoral studentsHermann W. Vogel

Karl Friedrich August Rammelsberg (1 April 1813 – 28 December 1899) was a German mineralogist from Berlin, Prussia.


After an apprenticeship in pharmacy, he studied chemistry and crystallography at the University of Berlin, where his influences were Eilhard Mitscherlich, Heinrich Rose, Christian Samuel Weiss and Gustav Rose. His graduate thesis in 1837 dealt with cyanogen, "De cyanogenii connubiis nonnullis". In 1841 he became a privatdozent at the university, and in 1845 was named an associate professor of inorganic chemistry. From 1850 he taught classes at the Gewerbeakademie, a vocational training academy that was a predecessor of the Technical University of Berlin. In 1874 he became a full professor of chemistry at the university and in 1883 was appointed director of the inorganic chemistry laboratory.[1][2]

He distinguished himself with research in the fields of mineralogy, crystallography, analytical chemistry and metallurgy. He discovered the reducing action of hypophosphoric and phosphoric acids, and was the first scientist to determine the composition of Schlippe's salt (sodium thioantimonate). In addition, he made significant contributions in research involving isomorphism.[2]

He described the minerals, magnesioferrite and tachyhydrite.[3][4] Rammelsbergite, a nickel arsenide mineral, is named after him.[5] He died at Gross Lichterfelde, southwest of Berlin

Published works[edit]

Rammelsberg was the author of a series important textbooks, such as:

  • Handwörterbuch des chemischen Teils der Mineralogie (2 volumes, 1841; supplement 1843–53).
  • Lehrbuch der chemischen Metallurgie (1850).
  • Handbuch der Krystallographischen Chemie (1855).
  • Handbuch der Mineralchemie (1860).
  • Handbuch der Krystallographisch-physikalischen Chemie (2 volumes, 1881–82),[6] some of the earlier works being incorporated in later and more comprehensive volumes with different titles.

He is also credited with providing translations of technical publications that were written in Italian, French and Swedish.[1]


  1. ^ a b Rammelsberg, Karl (Carl) Friedrich Deutsche Biographie
  2. ^ a b Plett - Schmidseder edited by Walther Killy
  3. ^ "Magnesioferrite". mindat.org. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tachyhydrite". mindat.org. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Rammelsbergite at Mindat.org
  6. ^ WorldCat Search (published works)