Heinrich Mache


Heinrich Mache
Heinrich Mache
Heinrich Mache
Born(1876-04-27)27 April 1876
Died1 September 1954(1954-09-01) (aged 78)
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
Known forMache (unit)
Scientific career
InstitutionsVienna Academy
University of Vienna
Technical University Vienna
Doctoral advisorFranz Serafin Exner
Other academic advisorsLudwig Boltzmann

Heinrich Mache (27 April 1876 – 1 September 1954) was an Austrian physicist. He won the Haitinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 1915.[1]


Born in Prague, after his secondary school studies, Mache completed the first year of physics in Prague, among other things, heard lectures by Ernst Mach and in 1894 moved with his family to Vienna, where he continued his studies with Franz Serafin Exner and continued with Ludwig Boltzmann. He received his doctorate in 1898 working under Exner on the "experimental proof of electrostriction in gases" and worked as a photographic expert during 1900/1901 and participated in the astronomical expedition for the Vienna Academy to India. In connection with his research he conducted air electrical measurements on the Red Sea, in Delhi, Ceylon and Upper Egypt. In 1901 he habilitated at the University of Vienna. In 1906 he was appointed associate professor at the University of Innsbruck, which he left after two years in order accept the position as a professor at the Technical University Vienna. He was the successor of Friedrich Hasenöhrl. He died in Vienna.

Noteworthy relatives

His wife was the granddaughter of the great geologist Eduard Suess.

Tributes and memorials

In 1966 in Donau City (22nd District), Vienna, the Makegasse (Mache Alley) was named in his honor.

Research, interests and achievements

His research was mainly radioactivity, thermodynamics, atmospheric electricity, and the physics of combustion phenomena. He developed with Ludwig Flamm a theory of combustion of explosive gas mixtures. Due to his work with radon, the now unusual unit Mache was named for describing the activity of radioactive medicinal waters.

Mache unit

The Mache (unit) is the amount of radon in one liter that will produce a saturation current of 0.001 electrostatic unit (ESU) of current and is equivalent to 364 pCi L−1.[2] The eman (emanation) unit, used in the 1920s and 1930s, is equivalent to 100 pCi L−1.


  1. ^ "Hall of Fame: Heinrich Mache" (in German). Vienna, Austria: Technische Universität Wien. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  2. ^ Riezler, Wolfgang (1950). Einführung in die Kernphysik (in German) (4th ed.). H. Hübener. p. 309.

Further reading

  • Rechenberg, Helmut (1987). "Mache, Heinrich". Neue deutsche Biographie (in German). Volume 15. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. pp. 611–612. ISBN 3-428-00196-6. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  • "Heinrich Mache" (in German). Wilhelm Exner Medal Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.