Herman Von Helmholtz

Born in 1821 just outside of Berlin, Herman Von Helmholtz was interested in a vast array of sciences. He studied everything from mechanics to physiology. In 1849, Helmholtz became a professor of physiology at Konigsberg. Helmholtz was promoted to various teaching positions throughout Germany and eventually ended up in Berlin as a physics professor.

Helmholtz solidified and made coherent the work of many other scientists. He brought new attention to Thomas Young's theory of light, which we consequently still use today. Young believed that three colors make up color vision and mixed together they create white. Helmholtz furthered this, believing that there are three types of nerve fibers which deliver information to the brain. Helmholtz made it possible to comprehend how the eye changes focus with his theories on accommodation. He is also credited with advances in the physiological nature of binocular vision. In addition, Helmholtz brought attention to the ophthalmoscope and various other innovative optical instruments. Helmholtz is a key figure in the history of optometry.