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Rudolph Koenig

Year of Birth:
26.11.1832 (Königsberg (Prussia))

Year of Death:
02.10.1901 (Paris, France)


Karl Rudolph Koenig (also known as Rudolf Koenig or König) studied at the University of Königsberg. In about 1852, he moved to Paris and joined the workshop of famous violin-maker Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. In his leisure time, Koenig attended public lectures and studied mechanics, becoming increasingly interested in acoustics research. After six years of apprenticeship with Vuillaume, Koenig became a master violin-maker, but his own new business was a workshop for acoustic apparatus. The instruments and acoustic devices that Koenig constructed acquired a high reputation among physicists and were exhibited widely.  Koenig’s intensive research on tuning forks, on which he spent years of his life, ultimately led to the development of the tuning fork as a reliable instrument for scientists.

In 1868, Koenig was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Königsberg. In 1882, he traveled to the United States and Canada to give a series of public lectures. Koenig published various studies on acoustics as well as the catalogues of his apparatus. Among Koenig’s most important inventions were his manometric flame apparatus, which made it possible to visualize sound waves, a sound analyzer, and a vibration microscope. His theoretical publications included work on the production of high frequencies, the Doppler effect, and Helmholtz’s theory of beats and combination tones.

Koenig, Rudolph. "Appareil pour la mesure de la vitesse du son." Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des Sciences , vol. 55, 1862, pp. 603-605,
Koenig, Rudolph. Catalogue des appareils d'acoustique construits par Rudolph Koenig. P. Mouillot, 1889,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Apparat zu Messung der Geschwindigkeit des Schalls." Annalen der Physik und Chemie , vol. 118, 1863, pp. 610-614,
Koenig, Rudolph. "On Manometric Flames." The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin philosophical magazine and journal of science, 4th ed., vol. 45, 1873, pp. 1-18, 105-114,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Über den Zusammenklang zweier Töne." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 157, 1876, pp. 177-237,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Stimmgabel mit veränderlichem Tone." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 157, 1876, pp. 621-623,
"Ueber die höchsten hörbaren und unhörbaren Töne von c5 = 4096 Schwingungen (ut7 = 8192 v s), bis über f9 (fa11), zu 90 000 Schwingungen (180 000 v s), nebst Bemerkungen über die Stosstöne ihrer Intervalle, und die durch sie erzeugten Kundt'schen Staubfiguren." Annalen der Physik, 305th ed., vol. 11, 1899, pp. 626-660, 721-738,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Ueber den Ursprung der Stösse und Stosstöne bei harmonischen Intervallen." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 12, 1881, pp. 335-349,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Beschreibung eines Stosstöneapparates für Vorlesungsversuche." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 12, 1881, pp. 350-353,
Koenig, Rudolph. "On the simultaneous sounding of two notes." Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, vol. 1, 1876, pp. 417-525,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Battements et sons résulants de deux mouvements vibratoires produits simultanément dans le même corps / Timbres produits par des ondes irrégulières." Journal de physique théorique et appliquée, 2nd ed., vol. 10, 1891, pp. 527-529,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Recherches sur les vibrations d’un diapason normal (Untersuchungen über die Schwingungen einer Normalstimmgabel)." Journal de physique théorique et appliquée, vol. 10, 1881, pp. 214-215,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Untersuchungen über die Schwingungen einer Normstimmgabel." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 9, 1880, pp. 394-417,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Bemerkungen über die Klangfarbe." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 14, 1881, pp. 369-393,
Koenig, Rudolph. Quelques expériences d'acoustique. Lahure, 1882,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Über Klänge mit ungleichförmigen Wellen." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 39, 1890, pp. 403-411,
Koenig, Rudolph. "Über die Beobachtung der Luftschwingungen in Orgelpfeifen." Annalen der Physik und Chemie, vol. 14, 1881, pp. 369-393,
Pantalony, David. Altered Sensations. - Rudolph Koenig’s Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009,
Encyclopædia Britannica . vol. 15, 1911,
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