Ernst Karl Abbe
January 23, 1840 – January 14, 1905
Ernst Karl Abbe was a German physicist at the University of Jena. Abbe was one of the foremost optical engineers of all time. During his 40 year association with the Carl Zeiss Optical Works in Jena (of which he eventually became owner), he made important contributions to things as diverse as the production of technical glass, the mathematical theory of aberrations in optical instruments, and workplace reform. Although Abbe's personal work concentrated on the perfection of the microscope, during his tenure Zeiss was a leading producer of precision optical instruments of all sorts, including telescopes.