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Gaspar Schott





German physicist, b. 5 Feb., 1608, at Königshofen; d. 12 or 22 May, 1666, at Augsburg. He entered the Society of Jesus 20 Oct., 1627, and on account of the disturbed political condition of Germany was sent to Sicily to complete his studies. While there he taught moral theology and mathematics in the college of his order at Palermo, He also studied for a time at Rome under the well-known P. Kircher. He finally returned to his native land after an absence of some thirty years, and spent the remainder of his life at Augsburg engaged in the teaching of science and in literary work. Both as professor and as author he did much to awaken an interest in scientific studies in Germany. He was a laborious student and was considered one of the most learned men of his time, while his simple life and deep piety made him an object of veneration to the Protestants as well as to the Catholics of Augsburg. Schott also carried on an extensive correspondence with the leading scientific men of his time, notably with Otto von Guericke, the inventor of the air-pump, of whom he was an ardent admirer. He was the author of a number of works on mathematics, physics, and magic. They are a mine of curious facts and observations and were formerly much read. His most interesting work is the "Magia universalis naturæ et artis", 4 vols., Würtzburg, 1657-1659, which contains a collection of mathematical problems and a large number of physical experiments, notably in optics and acoustics. His "Mechanicahydraulica-pneumatica" (Würtzburg, 1657) contains the first description of von Guericke's air-pump. He also published "Pantometricum Kircherianum" (Würtzburg, 1660); "Physica curiosa" (Würtzburg, 1662), a supplement to the "Magia universalis"; "Anatomia physico-hydrostatica fontium et fluminum" (Würtzburg, 1663), and a "Cursus mathematicus" which passed through several editions. He also edited the "Itinerarium extacticum" of Kircher and the "Amussis Ferdidindea" of Curtz.

HELLER, Geschichte der Physik, II (Stuttgart, 1882), 144; SOMMERVOGEL, Biblioth. de la Comp. de Jésus, VII (Paris, 1896), 903; ST. LÉGER, Notice des ouvrages de G. Schott (Paris, 1765).

H. M. BROCK








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