Ernst Karl Abbe (January 23, 1840 in Eisenach – January 14, 1905 in Jena), was a German physicist. He was a professor at the University of Jena.

Abbe is best known for his work in optics including designing the first refractometer. However, during his association with Carl Zeiss' microscope works, in Jena, he introduced the eight-hour workday, in remembrance of the 14-hour workday of his own father. The eight-hour workday would not be widely emulated in the United States until its use in the next century by the Ford Motor Company 1914, although it was proclaimed in 1884.

Ernst Abbe Stamp from the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republic)

Ernst Abbe 1889 in Bühlen


  • Aberration in optical systems
  • Abbe number
  • Abbe prism
  • Abbe refractometer
  • Abbe sine condition


Biographies of Physicists and Astronomers

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