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Estonian Journal of Engineering

On the role of T. J. Seebeck in the discovery of the photoelastic effect in glass; 283–294

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Hillar Aben


It is shown that Seebeck was the first scientist who systematically investigated the photoelastic effect in annealed and tempered glass articles of different shape. Some of Seebeck’s results are analysed and put into the framework of contemporary photoelasticity. Already about two centuries ago Seebeck observed in 3D glass articles interference fringes, which are nowadays the basis of integrated photoelasticity for residual stress measurement in glass articles of complicated shape. Investigations on the photoelasticity of glass made Seebeck famous even before he started investigating the problems of thermoelectricity.


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