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Analog photographers may have heard of reciprocity failure, also known as the Schwarzfield effect. To counter this failure you have to increase exposure according to the Schwarzfield law. That's how I know him as a photo collector. But he is probably more famous for his involvement in Einstein's relativity theory. 

Now the popular believe is that he did the calculations for field equations as an artillery officer in a trench at the eastern front. And he died later in combat. While we know he died of complications of an autoimmune disease. 

So without going into details what he did exactly as a physicist, I thought it would be interesting to find out what his military career path was. In which unit did he serve and where did he saw combat?



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Seems he had a very short military career for a man of his age.  I can't tell you where he might have seen combat.


Karl Siegmund Schwarzschild

11.05.1916           he died in Potsdam, having last served on the staff of "General der Fußartillerie 10"

02.09.1915           promoted to Leutn. d. Landwehr Fußartillerie 1. Aufgebots from Landwehr Bez.  Potsdam.  At this time he was serving with the I. Ersatz Batl. of Fußart. R. 8

09.10.1873           born in Frankfurt a.M.

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Schwarzschild was an Unteroffizier des Landsturms when the war started. He joined the military weather service as a Kriegsfreiwilliger and deployed to the Western Front on 10 September 1914 as leader of a field weather station in Namur.  He soon began research in other areas, and presented a paper to the Prussian Academy of Sciences on 8 November 1915 entitled "Über den Einfluß von Wind und Luftdichte auf die Geschoßbahn" ("On the influence of wind and air density on the ballistic trajectory"). He was in the meantime transferred to the artillery.  He served on higher artillery commands on the Western and Eastern Fronts studying ballistic matters, and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. He also continued his research into Einstein's theories and presented three more papers to the Academy of Sciences in 1916.  In March 1916, he left the field for health reasons and died two months later, with his final paper being published the same day he died.


Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Mechanik
Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung 

Edited by Dave Danner
Fix typos
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